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General News of Thursday, 14 July 2011

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Govt should do something about school fees - COCS


Education as they say is the bedrock of every country that tends to triumph. This is the main reason why governments over the years formalized proposals to make the basic educational system free and easily accessible to Ghanaian children, as their parents pay little or nothing in sending them to school.

Not so long ago, there have been lots of submissions by political leaders, educationists and public opinionists concerning the possibility of making the Second cycle Education, a part of the basic educational system: an issue that attracted several views.

It is very obvious that the government has done a lot since when it assumed power in the year 2009, as far as educational infrastructural developments are concerned. An increase in the capitation grant, distribution of exercise books and school uniforms free of charge, were all part of moves by the government, in its quest of making education attractive and less expensive for Ghanaian children to acquire knowledge.

Though the secondary education is not free of charge, we as the members of the coalition of concerned students in the Ashanti region, have come to realize that government plays major role in determining the fees parents are suppose to pay to secondary schools for their wards to further their education. The absurdity in the discrepancies that come to bare is the irresponsible charges some of the secondary schools bill the students with, which makes the school fees very high and thus place unnecessary burdens on the pocket of parents who have their wards enrolled into the second cycle institutions in the country.

A survey we carried out presents that Managements of secondary schools in the country unnecessarily and illegitimately bill students with things or materials that are irrelevant to the academic pursuits of students, as their sole objective is to exploit parents to make money and nothing more.

Considering the situations at some second cycle institutions, where students are billed with about four different attires at exorbitant costs. For example : some schools charge for anniversary attire at thirty (30) Ghana cedis, outing attire also at thirty (30) Ghana cedis, housing attire also at thirty (30) Ghana cedis, vests with ties at forty (40) Ghana cedis and customized school coats at hundred (100) Ghana cedis in addition to the unavoidable school uniforms.

Some schools even bill students with two different books for a single subject, say: Aki-ola integrated Science series as well as approacher’s integrated science series. Some students are even made to pay for books that have nothing to do with their courses of study, which put avoidable burdens on parents who have no option than to settle what their wards have been billed with, willing-nilly or take their children home if they are not able to offset the bills.

We humbly wish to call on the Government, the Ghana Education Service (GES), the conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) and the Media, to come to the aid of parents by standardizing, harmonizing and streamlining materials that students could be billed with to avoid the unnecessary charges that tend to put unnecessary burden on parents and thus make secondary education affordable to all and accessible by all.

We humbly call on the media to help in investigating and scouting for more information concerning what we have stated above.

Long live Ghana.

Long live the wonderful people of Ghana.



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