Government is not against parents’ contribution towards their ward’s education but is against any move to deny children access to education.
“The inability of parents or guardians to pay for any school levy under the Parents Teacher Association (PTA) or Schools Management Committees (SMCs) must not prevent any child from access to education, especially at the basic level.”
Mr Daniel Kenneth, the Okere District Chief Executive (DCE), emphasized that Children are not members of PTAs or SMC nor any decision concerning contributions “therefore government’s position is that decisions taken at that level must not prevent any child from going to school.”
He said the institution of the capitation grant was to address the payments of some fees and levies which were a barrier to many children from accessing education.
The DCE was speaking at an education forum for Teachers, Directors of education, SMCs, and other stakeholders in the Eastern Region under a COMPASS project aimed at improving learning outcomes through community participation.
The Government of Ghana through the Ghana Education Service in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is implementing the COMPASS to strengthen community-based school management for improved outcomes in the study of Mathematics in schools at the basic level.
As part of the project, the stakeholders met to discuss ways each partner could be committed to their roles, particularly members of the SMCs, to meet the objectives from now till the project ends in 2024.
The COMPASS is being implemented in the Oti, Volta and Eastern Regions and is estimated to reach about 1,860 schools in total.
Madam Margaret Nsiah-Asamoah, the Eastern Regional Director of Education, who corroborated the DCE’s views, said community participation went beyond payment of monies and that the need for any contribution must be voluntary and not an imposition.
She added that children were not members of the PTA and, therefore, could not be held responsible for their parent’s inability to pay any levies.
“I, therefore, urge you teachers and education directors to go by the government’s position to ensure that no child is refused access to education or prevented from coming to school on those grounds,” she added.
Mr Godfred Gyeke, an official of the GES working on the COMPASS, said imposing levies on parents was a disincentive in getting parents and communities to participate in school management activities to promote better teaching and learning outcomes.
The objective of strengthening community-based school management under the project is to improve the learning of Mathematics from 31 per cent to 60 per cent by the end of the project.
Mr Gyeke noted that under the project mathematics workbooks had been distributed to all the target schools and a baseline survey on the pilot schools showed progress.