Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
The government has issued an unsmiling cautionary advise to heads of Senior High Schools (SHS) against denying admission to students whose parents fail to pay Parent Teacher Association (PTA) dues.
According to Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, although schools are allowed to charge PTA dues with clearance from the Ghana Education Service (GES) Council, it cannot be the basis upon which a student should be denied entry to the classroom.
There were reports of some schools charging between GHȻ 10 and GHȻ 20 from parents claiming those charges were not captured in the policy regulating free senior high school education which took off Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
But speaking on the Super Morning Show Wednesday, Mr. Oppong Nrkumah reiterated: “The fee that ought to be paid as agreed between CHASS [Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools] and the government has been absorbed” and therefore cautioned heads to desist from charging unapproved fees from parents.
“The policy directive that we have given all the schools is that because it is voluntary, you cannot sack the child or deny the child admission because he has refused to pay the voluntary GHȻ 10 to buy fans for every classroom or whatever has been decided at that level. You cannot, and head teachers ought not to do that,” he warned.
The Deputy Minister, therefore, directed the Education Directorates in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies “to quickly deal” with heads of schools involved in such practice.
Meanwhile, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah has apologised to parents whose wards were placed at schools of their choice but are unable to find space due to logistical challenges.
He said the attention of government has been drawn to four schools including St. Charles SHS in the Northern Region, where the number of students placed there exceeds the space available to accommodate them.
“We would like to apologise to those parents and those wards who have been affected by these minor isolated cases,” he said while assuring them that efforts are being made to “meet them halfway” by replacing them in other schools where there are vacancies.