A fair review by the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) has indicated that Basic private education is currently and for the next years to come the only hope for Ghana’s education.
The Executive Director of the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS), Mr. Enoch Kwasi Gyetuah who made this known to Georgeweb.org gave reasons why basic private education is the hope for Ghana.
Why parents choose an independent education for their Children?
Every loving and responsible parent wants an institution that is responsible, capable, creatively ready to deliver to the task of teaching their children with the necessary skills for this an ever-changing world.
In our country Ghana, the best choice for many parents is the private education. With options ranging from preschools to alternative schools, there is almost certainly a school to suit each and every child.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why parents will opt to give their children the unique experience of private school and why it is worth the financial investment.
Enriched academic opportunities
One of the accepted benefits of private schools is ability to provide exceptional and challenging educational experiences through extracurricular activities, advanced placement courses, International holistic programmes and gifted programs, just to name a few.
“The IH programme focuses on school work and on developing the “whole” person. Private school students constantly score top marks on standardized tests and college entrance exams, and many schools have close to a 100 percent rate of students attending their university of choice.
A comprehensive study on class size made by educational researchers Bruce Bidder and David Berliner in 2002, showed that the smaller the class size, the better the average student performs on academic achievement tests.
The gains from smaller class sizes are stronger when the child is exposed to them. Private schools vary greatly in size, but depending on their teaching style, almost all focus on the importance of small class sizes to individually help students’ weak areas and advance their strengths. In addition, small class sizes make teachers more readily available for extra help or to further challenge individual students.
Private schools are built around open communication between parents and administration, it becomes a priority to involve parents in the community. From frequent parent-teacher meetings, social events such as parent breakfasts and family days as well as parent class involvements, and the participation of parent committees in fundraising initiatives, families become an integral part of the child’s education. This common ground also helps strengthen parent-child relationships.
Dedicated teachers and safe environment
In a study conducted by the *GEKAD EDUCATIONAL CONSULT* in 2015, 95 per cent of parents surveyed said, the dedication of the teachers was their main reason for choosing private school. Instructors, whether trainees, stand-ins or certified are passionate about their subjects and the children they teach.
Within the MANNA International School in Kumasi, students have close relationships with their teachers who commonly act as role models.
Private schools a have reputations for maintaining high standards for discipline and respect. Lower staff-to-student ratios allow for more effective observation and control of school grounds.
The strong sense of community found in private schools also discourages Juvenal delinquencies and other child vices. In the JANET Educational Complex, also at Kumasi, study showed that, around 90 percent of parents surveyed with children in the private school system strongly agreed that their school was safe, which greatly improves the quality of the child’s educational experience and achievement.
The discipline they learn also improves their rates for success in post-secondary education, when they are in control of their class attendance and achievement.
According to a GEKAD EDUCATIONAL CONSULT survey, 70 percent of parents with children in the private school system believe their school’s environment is motivating, supportive and nurturing.
Former students repeatedly report that the friendships they formed in private school have lasted post-graduation. A strong sense of pride is often instilled in private school alumni, creating rich networking opportunities upon entering the workforce.
This is very common especially true in the faith-based schools, such as Christian and Islamic schools.
Ample resources for extracurricular activities
Most private schools in Ghana have adequate resources to support student learning in and outside the classroom eg. Sports field, art studios, science labs, etc. they also have the chance to embark on educational trips to physically interact with what they learn in the classroom. Quality resources and extracurricular activities provide students with the opportunity to fully explore their interests and talents.
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or social and academic clubs.
This involvement helps stimulate students in their studies, as noted in a study that found that students involved in the arts are more motivated to learn and are three times more likely to win a school attendance award. Extracurricular activities can provide a much-needed break from the stresses of academics while developing skills and engaging in valuable social situations.
Shared educational philosophy
There are innumerable approaches to education as such, a school that matches one’s perspective can create a positive, productive academic experience for the child. With the range of preference from the student-directed learning method of Montessori to the arts-based curriculum choosing the right private school will not only allow students to thrive in a supportive environment and build independence, but also gain unique skills that fit their learning style
Development for today’s and tomorrow’s world
Private schools go beyond offering the mandatory subjects required by educational curriculum; they can offer students a wide range of specializations including arts programs, athletics, math, science. Private schools are responsible for producing many leaders in politics, business, and society.
The frequent exposure to realities, through the educational trips, jungle walks, interactions with achievers in the communities etc places the children on a portal where the realities of life come to bear. The basic idea for such an extended curriculum is to make sure that students get the skill of transferring knowledge from the classroom into the society and the world of work.
In a world which is rapidly developing in terms of technology and socioeconomics, the best way to ensure that the children of today will not be just observers and consumers in tomorrow’s world but active and productive participants is to ensure that there are holistic educational strategies that take care of both the academic and mental development.
The general focus of private schools in Ghana over the years has been not only to strive for certification but also to put in place measures aimed at producing tomorrow’s leaders today.