The leadership of the Conference of Heads of Private Second-Cycle Schools (CHOPSS) following the opposition NDC party’s promise to extend free SHS to Private Senior High Schools in the country says it has embraced the idea.
Ghana’s former Education Minister and a leading member of NDC, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang during the party’s 2020 manifesto launch announced that the next John Mahama and NDC government will include private Senior high Schools in the country to Free SHS programme.
Currently, the Akufo-Addo led government has exempted all private Senior High Schools from the policy, thus qualified students after BECE are only placed into various public Second-cycle institutions across the country.
CHOPSS in a statement copied to Georgeweb.org expressing their profound gratitude said “We are particularly glad that this was captured as part of the manifesto promises of the NDC,”
According to CHOPSS, the central government including neglected private Senior High Schools in the Free SHS programme is the best way to remove the double-track system kind of education.
“We believe that a public-private partnership of this nature is a win-win for the Ghanaian government, Ghanaian children, and Ghanaian educational entrepreneurs. This policy will protect many of the 335 private senior high schools in Ghana and protect over 10,000 jobs in the private secondary educational sector,” the statement added.
CHOPSS further said the next NDC government promise of extending free SHS to private Senior High Schools will give the Ghanaian students more alternatives as they can choose to attend a private school near them.
“Finally, it will reduce the pressure on the government in its attempt to build additional infrastructure in public schools.”
It said just as the government partners with private health institutions to provide health care to patients through the National Health Insurance Scheme, in the same way, the government should consider the Free SHS grant in Private education institutions so that a student can decide whether to attend public or private Senior High school.
CHOPSS also debunked the suggestion that all private high 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,” CHOPSS noted.
CHOPSS, therefore, called on the Akufo-Addo led 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 to provide access and quality education to all Ghanaian children.