The Conference of Heads of Private Second-Cycle Schools (CHOPSS) has welcomed the promise by former President John Mahama to include private schools in the Free SHS policy if he wins power.
According to CHOPSS, the move will increase options for students when choosing which secondary school to attend.
The opposition NDC has promised to expand coverage of the Free SHS policy if they win the December polls. Private schools are currently not covered by the policy leading to several complaints from private school owners.
In a statement signed by its General Secretary Joseph Dzamesi Wednesday, CHOPSS said: “We believe that this is the only way the problem of access to secondary education, which gave rise to the double-track system of education can be solved. We believe that a public-private partnership of this nature is a win-win for the Ghanaian government, Ghanaian children, and Ghanaian educational entrepreneurs. This policy will protect many of the 335 private senior high schools in Ghana and protect over 10,000 jobs in the private secondary educational sector.
“It will give more options to Ghanaian children as they can choose to attend a private school near them or a public school. Finally, it will reduce the pressure on government in its attempt to build additional infrastructure in public schools”.
It added: “We posit that just as government partners with private health institutions to ensure that a patient can visit either a public or a private health facility when sick and, through the NHIS, the bill is paid, the same way the government should allow the Free SHS grant to follow the student if that student opts to attend a private or public SHS. We reject the suggestion that all mainstream private high schools or all private schools that do not charge fees in dollars are substandard schools.
“We have private schools that have better facilities than public schools and that have over the years outperformed public schools. We also reject the attempt to suggest that it is unconstitutional for government to partner with private schools to provide educational access to Ghanaian children. We believe that there are common grounds that are absolutely constitutional that can be reached to allow for partnerships with Private Senior High Schools”.