General News of Friday, 15 March 2019
The Ministry of Education has said the government does not intend to privatize public basic schools under the controversial Ghana Partnership School (GPS) policy.
The initiative, which sought to create a partnership between government and private entities to take over the management of some public schools, has received a lot of backlash from stakeholders in the past few weeks.
Even before the date for the implementation of the initiative, interested parties such as teacher unions have threatened a massive demonstration against the government if it proceeds with the plan.
The unions justified their opposition, saying that they had not been consulted in the planning of the project.
But speaking to Citi News, Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum said the government has no intention to hand over the management of basic schools to private individuals.
“There is no basis for what the teachers are saying. The ministry has made it clear that is not about privatization. We are not handing over public schools to private operators. We have no intention to do that, there is no policy to do that. All that we are saying is that we are exploring how we can partner with NGOs and that discussion is at the very embryonic stage. We are not even close to making a decision on it. There is no policy for GPS or privatization, if there was, it would have been public information.”
Initially, the Ministry of Education called the bluff of the teacher unions, insisting that it was going to go ahead to roll out the project to improve the standards of education in the country.
The government, however, said its decision to back down has nothing to do with the pressure from the various stakeholders.
NAGRAT welcomes move
But President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu said the decision by the Education Ministry to halt the implementation of the project is welcoming.
“When I heard that government has withdrawn from the project, I was elated. I believe that when you resource our school heads and give them training, skills development program periodically and set target for them – our school heads will achieve credible results. We are very happy that the project has been discontinued. We have a strong desire to achieving learning outcomes. We have the men and women well trained.”
Privatization of basic schools will fail – Coalition
Earlier the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) indicated that the Ghana Partnership Schools Project will fail.
The group said it has evidence to show that the policy will impact negatively on education.
The Coalition thus wanted the government to scrap the project which is expected to be rolled out this September.
The Chairman of the GNECC, Kofi Asare said that the government must scrap the project which was expected to be rolled out this September.
“The issues we are raising are very cogent issues and we believe that when we have a physical engagement with the Minister and his team, they will appreciate the issues we have raised. We have given alternatives too in our statement.We intend together with the teacher unions, to engage government one on one and have a discussion on this but we wanted government to know our position on this.”