The Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) has called on the government to as a matter of urgency take steps to correct the discrimination that takes place during the implementation of government policies and interventions in the education sector.
GNAPS said the contribution of private schools to quality education in the country cannot be quantified and wondered why government continued to neglect and discriminate against them in its policy direction and interventions in the educational system.
The Chairman of the Bolgatanga Municipal branch of GNAPS, Mr Kris Josef Akubah, made the call in Bolgatanga on Friday during the celebration of this year’s GNAPS week on the theme “Challenges of quality education: The role of private schools in the 21st century.”
The celebration of the occasion was characterised by floats on the principal streets of Bolgatanga with pupils and teachers holding placards with inscription, “Fair education policies for all,” “Education is teaching our children to desire the right things,” “Unfair school placement must stop,” “Equal rights for all Ghanaian children in education,” “Harassment free learning environment” and “Discrimination of placement.”
Mr Akubah who is also the Director of Great Victory Academy, noted that although the private schools were profit making entities, the students and pupils in those schools were Ghanaians and had equal rights to benefit equally from all government interventions.
He mentioned that apart from the 30 percent quota given to public schools in the school placement policy, private school teachers were also being consistently denied in teachers’ awards during presidential awards.
He stressed that children in private schools were also being denied the opportunity to benefit from free Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) registration, adding, “That is not good enough because they are all Ghanaian children and so they should have the same rights and privileges.”
MrAkubah also called on the government and other stakeholders to join efforts to establish a special school in the Bolgatanga Municipality to provide conducive learning environment for special children.
This, he said, would contribute to achieving the all-inclusive education agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Hajj Issah Bukari, Upper East Regional Chairman, GNAPS, noted that apart from training more students to be well-equipped to pursue various courses and programmes at second cycle and tertiary institutions and contribute significantly to national development, private schools paid the necessary taxes and levies and should not be neglected in the sharing of the national cake.
He reiterated the commitment of private schools in the region to employ knowledge sharing to instil discipline while pursuing vigorous academic excellence to raise the standard of education in the region and produce all-round students for societal development.
Reverend Sister Janet Beru, Pre-School and Primary Head Teacher at Sacred Heart Academy, appealed to parents to endeavour to always pay fees of the wards in time to facilitate smooth academic work.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA