The Ministry of Education has explained that the government has no intention of privatising public basic education.
“The government has never contemplated privatisation of schools.
In its 2016 manifesto, page 108, which reads: “We will build an effective partnership with religious bodies, civic organisations and the private sector in the delivery of quality education.
This partnership will also include areas of management, supervision and training of teachers in their units,” it said.
The Director of Communications of the ministry, Mr Vincent Ekow Assafuah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday that: “The Ministry wants to stress that discussions are advanced with religious bodies and is seeking an appropriate regulatory framework to enable this manifesto pledge to be fulfilled.”
Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition
The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) said plans by the government to hand over the management of low performing public schools to private educational management firms in a bid to ensure effective and quality teaching and learning should be put on hold.
The coalition based its arguments on the fact that some African countries such as Liberia, Uganda and Kenya, which adopted that approach in the past did not achieve their intended results.
The coalition also advised the government to conduct a research into how basic private schools in the country had been managed successfully and apply the findings into the management of basic schools, rather than spending to pilot the Ghana Partnerships Schools (GPS) project.
Ministry’s takes exception
But Mr Assafuah said the ministry took an exception to the position of the GNECC.
He, therefore, challenged the GNECC to provide evidence to the privatisation claim it made in its press conference, adding that “the Ministry is particularly surprised by the conduct of the President of GNECC, who sits on the Ministerial Advisory Board and, therefore, had easy access to senior management for cross-checking information that might have come his way”.
Mr Assafuah said the ministry’s position is that GNECC must either substantiate the privatisation claim or “choose the honourable path of an unqualified apology”.
“The ministry takes a serious view on this unsubstantiated position and demands that the President of GNECC comes clear or face the wrath of the ministry,” Mr Assafuah added.
The teacher unions also recently served notice they would resist any attempt by the government to privatise, commercialise and ‘commodify’ public education in the country.
They said the decision by the government to cede 100 endowed public schools to private individuals and groups to run a pilot project to be funded through a loan and a grant under a partnership dubbed: “Ghana Partnerships Schools (GPS)”, was untenable.