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Opinions Tue, 12 Nov 2013

Illegal fees being charged in public schools in Ashanti region

Recently, it was published on Ghanaweb that headmasters in a few secondary schools in Ashanti region overcharged students with regard to school fees. This is a tip of the iceberg. I wish to draw the attention of the Minister of Education, the Director General Ghana Education Service and the Ashanti Regional Office of the Ghana Education Service, that students and parents have been excessively exploited in the region by some greedy headmasters for a long time with impunity. The Free and Compulsory Basic Education applicable to first cycle public schools is supposed to be operating in the whole country. However some headmasters in Ashanti Region have been charging exorbitant fees thereby scaring away poor pupils and parents.

A case in point is Martyrs of Uganda Junior Secondary School in Kumasi.. This is a public day school but pupils in JSS 1 have been charged 5 000 000.00 cedis or GHC 500.00 each for the first term. Those in JSS 2 and 3 were also charged but reduced fees. Ghanaians are definitely worried with massive corruption going on as if there is nobody in control. How can public schools operate independently without any supervision and control even though there are officers paid for that? Teachers of all public schools are paid by the government. That is why some parents are anxious to know about what happens to the fees. For how long will the Ghana Education Service allow these unpatriotic headmasters to cheat ignorant parents and pupils for their own selfish gains? It is high time somebody stepped in to save poor parents and pupils from exploitation and injustice, particularly the Ghana Education Service should investigate such cases and take appropriate action to deter other headmasters who contemplate doing likewise.

T. W. KAAKYIRE

Columnist: Kaakyire, T. W.