The Ghana National Association of Private Schools [GNAPS], claims the introduction of government’s free Senior High School policy has led to the collapse of some 23 private senior high schools in the country.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, the President of the Association, Eric Appiah, indicated that the free SHS programme has drastically reduced enrollment in private Senior High Schools.
“What we have said and continue saying is that the policy is not a bad one, but to roll out a policy without the private senior high schools in Ghana is quite unfortunate…Some schools are folding up regarding enrollment which is quite unfortunate. We had a little over 200 private schools across the country, but as I speak to you about 23 have folded up,” Mr Appiah lamented.
Mr. Appiah was however unable to name the specific schools that had collapsed, but insisted that evidence on collapsed schools were available.
He urged the government to partner with them in the implementation of the Free SHS policy to keep Private Senior High Schools in business.
“All over the world, economies that are thriving are involved in public-private partnership. The Senior High Schools have to be included. How is government introducing free SHS while leaving private schools out? We are engaging government, and we hope that come academic next year, the government will involve us just like the Health Insurance also includes private hospitals and private clinics.”
‘Consider extending free SHS.’
Some heads of private senior high schools had since the introduction of the free SHS programme appealed to the government to extend the policy to their institutions.
The heads, who have had to deal with almost empty classrooms since the programme kicked off, said they had been entirely neglected by the government.
There are close to 1,000 secondary schools in Ghana.
Of the number, 562 are public, while the 301 are private schools.
Statistics available suggest that, whereas over 740,000 students gain access to public secondary schools, only 1,300 go to the private ones.