Heads of private second cycle schools across the country have welcomed the promise by the Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, to extend the coverage of the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) program to private schools.
At the moment Free SHS is implemented in only government schools.
“The Conference of Heads of Private Second-Cycle Schools (CHOPSS) welcomes the NDC manifesto, especially, the promise by the flag bearer to include private high schools in the implementation of the Free SHS policy. We are particularly glad that this was captured as part of the manifesto promises of the NDC. We believe that this is the only way the problem of access to secondary education, which gave rise to the double-track system of education can be solved.
“We believe that a public-private partnership of this nature is a win-win for the Ghanaian government, Ghanaian children, and Ghanaian educational entrepreneurs,” a statement from the CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF PRIVATE SECOND-CYCLE SCHOOLS (CHOPSS) said.
It said the extension will protect many of the 335 private senior high schools in the country and protect over 10,000 jobs in the private secondary educational sector. “It will give more options to Ghanaian children as they can choose to attend a private school near them or a public school.”
The statement refuted the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s claim that extending Free SHS to private schools will be illegal, pointing out that the National Health Insurance Scheme has been extended to cover private hospitals.
“We reject the suggestion that all mainstream private high schools or all private schools that do not charge fees in dollars are substandard schools. We have private schools that have better facilities than public schools and that have over the years outperformed public schools.
“We also reject the attempt to suggest that it is unconstitutional for government to partner with private schools to provide educational access to Ghanaian children. We believe that there are common grounds that are absolutely constitutional that can be reached to allow for partnerships with Private Senior High Schools.
“We therefore call on the NPP Government and all other political parties to commit to working with CHOPSS to ensure that private schools are not collapsed in Ghana but allowed to partner with government(s) to provide access and quality education to all Ghanaian children,” the statement said.
It was signed by Naphtali Kyei Baffour, Public Relations Officer of CHOPSS) and Joseph K. Dzamesi, General Secretary.