By Gifty Amofa/Muniratu Adams Zanzeh, GNA
Accra, March 4, GNA - The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition on Monday called on the Ministry of Education (MoE) to review the approach towards handing-over public schools to private entities for management at the expense of government.
It also called for a review of the Capitation Grant, the on-going Basic School Curriculum and the free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
Mr Kofi Asare, the Chairman of the Coalition said this when he addressed the media in Accra as part of its quarterly meet the press series.
“MoE must apply the breaks for further consultation and review of the approach,” he added.
He said the coalition was aware of similar projects carried out in other African countries such as Liberia, Uganda and Kenya, where the partnership between government and the private sector did not yield the required results.
“Rather, whatever gains were made were marginal in comparison to the investments made by their governments, which were much higher than what was going to the regular public schools.
“Government cannot afford to ignore this evidence and go ahead to invest in such a venture,” he stressed.
The Chairman said based on the experiences of the model countries, the privatisation was not sustainable as the private consortiums did not have the means to sustain the schools without government support.
He said since government was committed to passing the educational bill into law, to provide a more efficient and accountable management of education at the local level, there would be no need to rush into piloting the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) Project.
On the Capitation Grant, Mr Asare commended government for increasing it by 100 per cent, but added that schools had not received any grant for two academic terms.
He said it was not feasible for the schools to be denied the grant and expected to perform as high quality could only be achieved with enough funding that was provided on time, thus called on the Ghana Education Service, MoE and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to help release the funds.
The Chairman for the Coalition also asked broader consultation into the new pre-tertiary curriculum from Kindergarten to class six, calling on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to ensure stakeholders, especially, teacher training unions took part in the pilot, to reduce implementation challenges.
With the free SHS, Mr Asare said, visual arts students were not properly taking care of under the policy, adding that the high cost of practical work was affecting the participation of most of the students and there was the need for government to support them.
The Coalition, made up of over 210 Civil Society Organisations suggested that government pursued the on-going legal reforms in decentralising education management, increase investment in public schools and commission a research in existing private schools to document and replicate successful management practices without spending money on a pilot GPS