The Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) has accused the government of sabotaging private schools in the country through unfavourable policies.
The President of GNAPS, Dr. Damascus Tuuroson, alleges that private schools have been sidelined in the national standardized test, denied training on the new curriculum, and are been treated unfairly in the recent computerized selection and placement system.
“The state institutions which are supposed to nurse private schools during this period of crises have failed us rather than assisting us to brace this economic storm. Some state institutions are worsening the plight through their actions, inactions, pronouncements, and in some cases, deliberate sabotage.
“Inasmuch as many of us are reluctant to believe the conspiracy theorists who claim that some government agencies are deliberately trying to sabotage the progress of private schools as a means of boosting public school education. Current happenings strengthen the position of the conspiracy theorists”.
“How else will you explain a suggestion by the Director General of Ghana Education service to the effect that 80% placement into category” A” SHSs should be reserved for public school children whilst private school students seeking to enter Category “A” schools be made to sit an entrance Examination aside the BECE. There appears to be almost 100% concentration on public schools to the neglect of private schools, in particular, our low fees private schools,” he noted while addressing the opening ceremony of the 8th Biennial National delegates conference Wednesday, 17 August 2022, in Koforidua.
According to him, the association is considering taking legal action to challenge the constitutionality of the priority quota system in category “A” schools.
He stressed that the current economic challenges, especially the hiking of fuel prices and currency depreciation, had worsened the plight of private schools after Covid-19 dealt a major blow.
“The covid-19 dealt a mortal blow to private schools, especially low-fee private schools, many of which are still in the intensive care unit being kept alive with oxygen ventilators. Unfortunately, many schools, particularly low fees private schools, never recovered from the coronavirus attack. A major lifeline which we used to revive our distressed private schools is credit; however, base rate increases by the bank of Ghana have further worsened the woes of schools as proprietors find it too expensive borrowing from the financial institutions”.
“Persistent fuel price hikes have grounded school buses, and increasing prices of foodstuffs have left many private school children hungry, staring into the faces of school matrons wondering where their hitherto delicious meals have gone to. The free fall of the cedi against major international currencies, especially the US dollar, has escalated the cost of doing business to the extent that privates school workers are also crying for the cost of living allowance (COLA).”
On his part, former President John Dramani Mahama, who was the guest speaker at the event, reiterated his position for private schools to be included in the Free Senior High School policy.
He also charged private schools to make ICT an integral part of basic education.