The Conference of Directors of Private Pre-Tertiary Schools (CODPPTS) says it is not compulsory for members to reduce monies taken for fees and other services rendered to parents and their wards during the 2020/21 academic year.
This, according to the Association is because, just as hotels and all private business entities in Ghana can review their fees without consulting customers or clients, Private school owners have the same prerogative.
In a press release signed by the President of the Association, Philip Boateng Mensah, parents were encouraged to stop complaining about the increase in fees and take their wards to schools within their budget.
“Parents have unfettered access to all schools in Ghana including government schools, which are almost free, so it is needless to decide to stay in a particular school when your budget can not keep you there.
“Private Schools have levels. The maintenance, running expenses, and quality of teachers and other services differ from one school to another. If you want a five-star school, you should be ready to pay for a five-star service,” part of the release read.
The statement follows various petitions by parents and other stakeholders to private school owners to reduce admission and fees as schools reopen across the country in line with a directive from President Akufo-Addo.
The parents had alleged that the effect of Covid-19 and its impact on businesses give backing to their appeal for a reduction in school fees.
But arguing its case, the Association said private school owners were left without support from parents or government during the outbreak of the pandemic, hence the decision to adjust fees upwards to adequately handle the safety protocols outlined by the Ghana Health Service is in order.
“Covid19 has been an eye-opener for entrepreneurs in the private education sector because, when schools were closed down for almost a year, no Parent nor Government exhibited any concern about how Private School Teachers or Proprietors fared in order to provide a lifeline
“The online studies, which were organized by schools did not witness any serious participation from most parents who are supposed to be our major stakeholders.
“In most cases, even where school fees were halved, most parents did not pay for their wards to be enrolled for the virtual classes, as means to support the Private School Teacher and for school maintenance.
In view of this, the Association said “it is important to seize this opportunity to educate all parents, who have wards in Private Schools that, in as much as we recognize they are major stakeholders, their stakeholding right has a limit and does not extend to price-fixing, which is the responsibility of the school owners.”
Therefore “Parents can negotiate for a reduction or flexible terms of payment from Private School Owners. However, Private School Owners are not under any compulsion to go by the wishes of parents.”