Leadership of Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) says it has noted with grave concern the manner in which government is supporting some private managers to take over the administration of some public schools.
This, they say it is done under the guise of Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) project where about 100 selected public schools in some selected regions, would be handed over to private school operators to manage.
“We are not opposed to having private school operators but we are opposed to the idea that resources would be made available to such private operators to enable them make their profits in the name of managing better our educational system,” Acting General Secretary of TEWU, Mark Dankyira Korankye, said at TEWU’s annual conference in Kumasi.
Government through the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES), has adopted and implemented policies and strategies geared toward the achievement of universal primary education for all.
The Education Strategic Plan (2010–2020) identifies access, quality and management as the main policy drivers determining priority interventions.
Having realised the importance of science and technology over the years, the government has targeted these as priority areas for improvement and is currently pursuing the Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan (ESMTDP) 2018-2021, as a component of the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2030.
But according to TEWU, if resources are available, government should retool the public schools and get them to function efficiently as the private schools have done.
Mr Korankye believes government must also pay attention and improve both infrastructure and human resources in the bid to enhance the progress of the public schools.
“To see improvement in the running and management of public schools, there is the need to invest and invest properly in public schools through the improvement of infrastructure and the human capital.”
UNDP in its report in 2018 on the SDG goals reiterated that “education is essential for the achievement of sustainable development. Thus, it is a vehicle through which knowledge, skills, values and character are acquired to build the human capital necessary for National Development.”
Ministry of Education’s 2011 Report captured that, for a developing country, such as Ghana, the provision of quality and accessible education is more imperative, given the fact that it serves as a catalyst to development.
TEWU says it recognises the importance of education as it applies to the economic, social, civil, religious and political prosperity of the nation.
Meanwhile, the current Educational Sector Performance Report in 2018 confirms that, at the nursery level, enrolment increased (from 1.54 million to 1.77 million between 2011/12 and 2017/18 academic years), with the share of the private sector rising from 22% to 29.7%.
At the primary level, the enrolment rose from 4.1 million in 2011/12 (with private sector share of 22.1%) to 4.4 million in 2017/18 (27% private).
For Junior High School (JHS), between 2011/12 and 2017/18, enrolments increased from 1.4 million to 1.65 million, with the share of the private sector rising from 19% to 21%.