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General News of Saturday, 31 October 2020


PTA levy has the potential of undermining Free SHS Policy - Education Minister replies CHASS

Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, Minister of Education play videoMatthew Opoku-Prempeh, Minister of Education

"What has PTA got to do with Free SHS . . . one of the painful things in this world is a person who is ignorant or sees everything with a political eye. Which free SHS policy has collapsed PTA?” queried Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh in response to concerns raised by CHASS.

CHASS' call for review

Speaking at their 5th annual conference, the President of Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS), Yakubu Abubakar asked the government to review their flagship programme, the Free SHS policy.

“Our observation over the period is that PTA activities are gradually dying in our schools. Hitherto, the PTAs were playing very significant roles in our schools. If a policy is in place and for the past three years it is not working then it needs to be relooked at. No wonder you go to many schools and you see PTA abandoned projects at various levels. At present even though there are delays in the release of funds, schools do not have the leverage like PTA to assist them and so making the effective administration of schools problematic. After three years of the implementation of the Free SHS policy, CHASS is calling for a review of the policy,” he stated.

Napo's Reaction

However, the Minister who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Manhyia constituency says the PTA can undermine the free SHS policy.

"If you know the truth but refuse to say it because of politics and you include it in your speech; then I will also meet you squarely on the political arena . . . when I am dealing with such a person people don’t understand. If he is doing politics then he is not fit to head or govern a school . . .

"PTA is a voluntary organization. If you’re a teacher and a student loses an hour of study due to the nonpayment of PTA levy and that is your concern, then you’re not fit to head that school. A government policy cannot be discriminatory from the teachers' point. The PTA has the potential of undermining the free SHS policy," he averred while speaking to Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM morning show 'Kokrokoo'.

Napo One-on-One with CHASS Head

Meanwhile, he has asked Mr Yakubu Abubakar to officially forward his concerns to him.

"As the head of a school, he should officially write to us and explain which aspect of the policy is collapsing free SHS and we will address it," he said adding, he will even invite him to his office for a one-on-one.

Watch him in the video below