Unions in the Pre-Tertiary Education, Ghana has cautioned government against the implementation of the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) Project in September this year.
According to them the project was a subtle and eventual privatisation, commercialisation and commodification of public education in the country.
Under the GPS project, a total of 100 selected public schools in the Ashanti, Northern, Central and Greater Accra Regions would be handed over to private school operators to manage.
The unions include the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT).
Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, Mr David Ofori Acheampong, General Secretary of GNAT said the project was purported to run for three years after which it may be institutionalised permanently.
He said that the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) were collaborating with ARK, an international consortium to implement the project.
“Already, the MOE and the consultants (ARK) have held a three-day workshop recently with an intention to finalise the draft report for the implementation of the project,” he added.
Mr Acheampong stated that based on the budget statement for 2019, government had secured funding to support private operators instead of the public schools.
He added that an aspect of the project empowers private operators to decide to work with the GES staff or not saying “transfer of GES staff from the selected schools will not attract transfer grants and school heads will not be maintained automatically by the private operators”.
Mr Acheampong said the project was against the union’s collective agreements with the GES and the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651).
“We wish to remind government of the preamble to our collective agreements which enjoins the parties not to be anti-union or anti-management, rather recognise and agree to promote trust, respect, fairness and endeavours to uphold these virtues in their policies and standards,” he emphasised.
Mr. Acheampong called on government to release the subventions of the district directorates of education on time to enable them undertake proper supervision as expected of them.
He therefore urged government to provide all required logistics needed for quality public education and the needs for staff to elevate the desired level of public education.
“Privitisation, commercialisation and commodification of public education were not the answers to the provision of quality public education,” he noted.
These schools should have kindergarten, primary and junior high schools with at least 300 students enrolled across classes.
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH