Members of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), a coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in education have called on the government to suspend the implementation of the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) Project scheduled for September this year.
They called for a broader consultation with stakeholders and also to take into consideration the interest of headteachers, teachers and the school children before going ahead with the implementation of the project.
According to the members who made the call at a day's sensitisation workshop organised by GNECC for members in the Western and Central Regions, the government should fully implement the Education Act, 2008 and the education decentralization policy rather than leave the public education in the hands of foreigners.
They were of the view that the challenges of public schools went beyond privatisation and commercialization and that the sector was bedeviled with a myriad of challenges.
Predominantly among the challenges according to them, included; the lack of chalk, and textbooks, no capitation grant and collection of special levies, as well as no extra classes.
The rest are; the lack of proper internal and external supervision, commitment on the part of the government and teachers, over politicisation of education, no proper corporate governance practices, lack of workshops and laboratories for technical, ICT and science education and learning-friendly environment coupled with the poor parental supervision and commitment.
They pointed out that promotions should be based on qualification and competence instead of long service as a proper corporate governance practice. They said the government should provide all the requisite logistics for quality public education and the needs of staff to elevate the desired level of public education.
They added, "the government must stop the over politicisation of education and allow parents and stakeholders who wish to support the unit the opportunity to do so".
In September this year, the government through the Ministry of Education (MoE) and its regulator, Ghana Education Service (GES) will implement the Ghana Partnership Schools Project.
The MoE and the GES were collaborating with ARK, an international consortium to implement the project.
Under this project, a total of 100 selected public schools in the Ashanti, Northern, Central and Greater Accra regions would be handed over to private school operators to manage.
The project is purported to run for three years after which it may be institutionalised permanently.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.