The Conference of Heads of Private Second-Cycle Schools (CHOPSS) has welcomed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) manifesto with emphasis on the promise of the flagbearer John Dramani Mahama to include private high schools in the implementation of the free SHS policy.
“We are particularly glad that this was captured as part of the manifesto promises of the NDC,” CHOPSS said in a statement.
CHOPSS said it believes that this is the only way the problem of access to secondary education, which gave rise to the double-track system of education can be solved.
“We believe that a public-private partnership of this nature is a win-win for the Ghanaian government, Ghanaian children, and Ghanaian educational entrepreneurs. This policy will protect many of the 335 private senior high schools in Ghana and protect over 10,000 jobs in the private secondary educational sector,” the statement added.
CHOPSS further said, the NDC manifesto promise of including them in the free SHS policy will further give more options to Ghanaian children as they can choose to attend a private school near them or a public school.
“Finally, it will reduce the pressure on government in its attempt to build additional infrastructure in public schools.”
The group posit that just as government partners with private health institutions to ensure that a patient can visit either a public or a private health facility when sick and, through the National Health Insurance Scheme, the bill is paid, in the same way, the government should allow the free SHS grant to follow the student if that student opts to attend a private or public SHS.
CHOPSS also rejected the suggestion that all private high schools that do not charge fees in dollars are substandard schools.
“We have private schools that have better facilities than public schools and that have over the years outperformed public schools. We also reject the attempt to suggest that it is unconstitutional for government to partner with private schools to provide educational access to Ghanaian children. We believe that there are common grounds that are absolutely constitutional that can be reached to allow for partnerships with private senior high schools,” CHOPSS noted.
The group, therefore, called on the NPP government and all other political parties to commit to working with CHOPSS to ensure that private schools are not collapsed in Ghana but allowed to partner with government to provide access and quality education to all Ghanaian children.