Teacher unions demand immediate end to plans to privatise public schools

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Four teacher unions are demanding that the government immediately stops the Ghana Partnerships Schools project which will select some public schools for privatisation.

National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers believe certain aspects of the policy empower the private operator to decide if it wants to work with Ghana Education Service (GES) staff including heads

Angle Carbonu, NAGRAT President, criticised plans to execute a project where some foreign and local private operators will take over some basic public schools stressing it is a wrong thing to do.

“We see this as the beginning of the privatization of public schools in the country. Our problem is not with the governmentwanting to source money but it should be sourced and given to the schools to have resources to run very well.

Angle Carbonu, NAGRAT president 

“If these people come in, they do not necessarily have to or obliged to use Ghana Education Service staff. The heads of the schools will change and those schools will be managed by those private people.

Mr Carbonu believes this will be an indictment on the government for preaching Free Senior High School education but “ceding public basic schools to private people.”

He said, although the Association was not consulted, they won’t have agreed to such a project.

The NAGRAT president disclosed that come September this year, 100 public schools are going to start the privatisation project.

“According to the World Bank loan condition, the public schools that should be handed to these private practitioners should be ones that do not need any immediate physical development and rehabilitation.

It tells you that they are not coming in to solve the problem of deprived schools because the schools are supposed to be ones in the urban areas,” he said.

But the Education Ministry has dismissed the reports that a World Bank-funded project seeking to improve the quality of education at the basic level will end up privatising and commercialising basic schools.

NAGRAT wants basic school well resourced to run their own affairs

Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Vincent Ekow Assafuah said a decision is yet to be made on how the project will be implemented.

“GPS is only a subset of the Ghana Accountability Learning Outcome project…it is a World Bank project that is supposed to support 700 basic schools in this country and the Education Ministry is just going to chose 50 out of them.

“All the schools are going to receive aid, train teachers and provide them with teaching and learning materials with seminars are going to be organised for them,” he said.

According to him, the 50 selected schools will be provided with leadership skills meaning “government might cede parts of its managerial aspect to that entity.”

Mr Ekow Assafuah said, this way, the schools improve the learning outcomes and not entirely commodifying public schools, which is an exaggeration by NAGRAT.

He said GES is yet to even send a proposal to the cabinet for it to study and approve it.

But Mr Carbonu told Joy News’ Gifty Andoh Appiah on The Pulse that a decision has already been taken by the government on the issue.

“They started this discussion two years ago with several meeting held in Accra at the  Movenpick Hotel and other places. The last meeting was held at Aqua Safari in Ada and that is where they took the final decision to start the programme in September this year,” he alleged.

Source:Myjoyonline

 

 

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