Parents of students of GIU Christian Academy (GICA) on Thursday stormed the school premises at Golf-City in the Kpone-Katamanso Municipality to protest against the school’s policy on online tuition fee and re-enrolment.
The parents who met the gates of the school shut, resorted to singing the Ghana National Anthem while police personnel ensured that they do not cause any chaos.
Thomas Sowah, an interim executive member of the GIU Parents Association, indicated that the parents who had enrolled children numbering between one and three were at the premises to petition the Korean school authorities on the policies they deemed as illegal.
Mr Sowah said “we urge GICA to withdraw the undated and open “Letter of Re-enrollment” sent to parents stating that their wards cease to be students of GIU because they failed to comply with a directive from the school for unpaid fees by a certain date”.
He stressed that parents were giving the school authorities up to September 30, to withdraw the letter they deemed as illegal, and an affront to the directive from President Nana Akufo-Addo on the timelines for re-opening of schools.
He added that asking parents to pay full school fees and books which ranged between ¢2,000 and ¢6,000 was unscientific and unreasonable, indicating that stating electricity, water bills, and salaries of teachers as the underlining factors were unacceptable.
They, therefore, called on the school to as a matter of urgency, engage parents on modalities, and appropriate fees for the online programme, “which by our understanding, is a stop-gap measure just to keep students busy and not a replacement of the re-scheduled school term. Parents can therefore not be expected to pay full term fees for this programme while it is not in-school tuition”.
He stated that such online programmes should be voluntary and not compulsory. Some parents had lost their jobs and sources of income due to the pandemic, making it extremely difficult for them to afford gadgets and data for their wards.
He asked GIU school authorities to engage parents positively instead of making seemingly racists remarks about the mentality of Ghanaians.
Some of the parents reminded the school that parents were key stakeholders, stressing that classrooms and infrastructure alone did not make a school, therefore there was the need to always dialogue with them instead of lording unfavourable policies on them.
They also revealed that they tried the online programme and realized that it was a waste of resources as the school failed to provide a reliable internet service for the teachers, as a result children were often left alone online to chat among themselves instead of receiving tuition.
Their petition was received by Mr Richard Amoako, an accountant of the school, who gave the assurance that it would be duly forwarded to the GIU management.