The Conference of Heads of Private Second Cycle Schools (CHOPSS) has called on the Government to include private schools in the implementation of the Free Senior High School Education Policy.
Mr Joseph Dzamesi, the General Secretary of CHOPSS, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday concerning the Free SHS Policy, said it was clear that private senior high schools (SHSs) contribute significantly not only to the educational sector but also in the area of job creation and to the growth of the economy, hence the need for their inclusion in the Policy.
He said that private senior high schools did not exist to compete with public schools but rather to complement the efforts of Government in providing access to secondary education for Ghanaian children.
Mr Dzamesi said CHOPSS believed that every attempt must be made to protect the existence of private senior high schools since it was clear that Government alone could not absorb all students from the senior high schools who graduate yearly.
“If all private SHSs close down, access to secondary education for the more than 50,000 students currently enrolled the private SHSs would be jeopardised,” he said.
Mr Dzamesi, therefore, called on Government to, as a matter of urgency, include private SHSs among the schools listed on the self-placement website.
He also urged government to extend its policy on Free SHS to cover students in private SHSs such as the distribution of textbooks, computers, buses, equipment and chemicals for the science laboratories, technical and vocational workshops.
Mr Dzamesi said while public schools would get those resources for free, private schools could pay a discounted price for them so that government could recoup some of its investments.
“We call on government to also support our efforts by periodically assisting us to be able to deliver best quality education to Ghanaian children.
“CHOPSS is also calling on government to re-introduce a more realistic cut-off point for qualification into public high schools. We need government to replicate its relationship with private entities in other sectors of the economy with private high schools and treat us as partners,” he said.