PEC petitions Parliament over 5 cardinal challenges facing it

A seven-member delegation from the Private Education Coalition (PEC) has presented a petition to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education on five cardinal challenges facing the private educational sector.

These cardinal challenges or issues highlighted in the petition include Regulation and Compliance, the role of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and the Assessment model and the transition of Junior High School (JHS) Students into Senior High Schools (SHSs).

Others include the 30 percent of Category A schools to the public schools and the monopolisation of examination by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).

Presenting the petition to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education last Wednesday in Accra, PEC noted that the issues highlighted were having a negative impact on private schools considering the contributions it had made towards improving education in the country.

According to PEC, some of the regulatory bodies were only interested in the fixation of its mandate on private schools rather than its core mandate of ensuring that certain standards were achieved by both public and private schools.

It also complained the manner in which monies were collected from private schools by some regulatory bodies, adding that per the Pre-Tertiary Education Regulatory Bodies Act, the National School Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA) was not mandated to collect monies from private schools on the basis of registration and licensing.

Such act, PEC said, connotes illegality and abuse of power while recommending the facilitation of any unturned regulation passage that sought to bring clarity to the current confusion between private schools and the entire Regulatory Bodies.

The Coalition further lamented the non-engagement of private schools by the NaCCA in the authorisation of textbooks from the New Standard-Based Curriculum as the Council was mandated to scrutinise the content of textbooks before approval.

On the issue of Assessment Model and student transition, PEC asserted that the exclusion of Private School children from the National Standard Assessment Test (NSAT) was unfair, as they had gone through the same learning curriculum designed by Pre-Tertiary schools.

Additionally, it said stakeholders in the educational sector had been left in suspicion about the continuation or cancellation of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) due to the ambiguity surrounding the total framework of the New Standard-Based Curriculum.

Moreover, the perennial examination leakages, PEC noted, had a dent on the image, integrity and global recognition of academic certificate from WAEC, hence, the proposed breaking of the monopoly by WAEC to recuperate the country’s education.

Receiving the petition, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, led by its Chairman, Mr Kwabena Amankwa Asiamah acknowledged the contributions made by the Coalition and assured that perpetrators found culpable would be brought to books and dealt with accordingly.

Mr Asiamah assured that the Committeewould see to the establishment of a Private Education Service to man the affairs of private schools and halt the contemptuous collection of monies by some government agencies.

BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY.

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