The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has proposed to stakeholders in the education sector,to develop a coherent policy that will guide parents’ contributions through levies and dues to public schools.
He said although there was the perception the government had banned the collection of Parent Teachers Association (PTA) dues and levies in public schools, such assertion from a section of the public was wrong, as government rather absorbed the payment.
The minister who said this yesterday on the Citifm Breakfast Show monitored by the Ghanaian Times explained that, the government decision to absolve the payment as part of the Free Senior High School policy was to enable children whose parents were unable to afford such dues and levies from being sacked as used to be the norm.
“I think the bottom line is that, there has not been a coherent policy, so I am calling on all those in the education sector to develop a policy that guides the process of the PTA dues and levies.
Before the introduction of the free SHS policy, PTA were collecting fees to pay electricity, for water, textbooks and to support projects through their development levies. All these were PTA fees which government is now paying on their behalf” Dr Adutwum said.
He said now the government pays the Electricity Company Ghana and Northern Electricity Distribution Company for electricity bills used by the public schools including the payment of the development levy.
Dr Adutwum said, the directive given to the heads of public schools through the Ghana Education Service (GES) was that, the parents as a group could come together and make donations to support the schools.
“In other jurisdiction where there is free SHS and primary education, parents still contribute, but their structures are not linked up with that of the school management. They have their own bank account where members could contribute monies into it.
The problem we have here is that, the headmaster becomes the agent for the PTA and incurs debt when the contributions are not forthcoming to pay contractors who have been engaged to embark on a project. We have many of such cases where government has to raise funds for payment,” he said.
BY BERNARD BENGHAN