The Executive Director of Greenfield Education Consult, Dr. Prince Hamidu Armah has said, the Ghana Partnership Schools Policy being introduced by the Ministry of Education seeks to better the performance of public basic schools in the country which have been in distress over the years. The policy which will be implemented for a three year period will be piloted in the Ashanti, Central, Greater Accra and northern regions.
The policy is set to start in September this year, and one hundred schools are due to start the policy. The operation of the basic schools, will throughout the period, change from state control to private control. Some teacher unions in the country have kicked against the policy, indicating that the policy only seeks to privatize and eventually commercialize Ghana’s education system.
Speaking to Samuel Kojo Brace on the Skyy News Review Programme, Dr. Prince Hamidu Armah, who is also a Consultant with the Education Ministry, indicated that the policy is not about privatisation of schools but leveraging the expertise of the private sector. The schools will however, remain public schools, and the programme will have no financial burden on parents.
“To solve the problem that we have; that the public schools are not doing well, we looked at the potential partnership between the private and public sector and that is what has informed what we call the Ghana Partnership School programme. It is just a project that selects 100 low performing schools out of the 38,000 public schools we have in the country. The selection will be done by government.
“Non-profit private schools which are performing will be requested to put in applications to compete for these public schools, and if they are successful, it will be a form of a pilot where these private schools will bring the experience that they have had to bear on the public schools for a period of three years. It is anticipated that during the process, our public schools will learn from the experiences in the private sector. So that is the principle behind,” he noted.
Speaking on anticipated achievements which will be derived after the three year pilot programme, Dr. Armah noted ”by the time we leave the three year programme, there will be improved school management capacity in those public schools so that the public schools can continue and now begin to perform better than they used to perform before joining the GPS. Again, the role of the private provider is to improve accountability and as we speak now, there are so many stories in the public schools. But under this programme, if a public school teacher in a private school does something that the Headmaster is not happy with, and upon several warnings of the private school provider, it still continues, they could ask the Ghana Education Service to bring them a new teacher. So here, we are looking at how the private schools have performed better by ensuring accountability.
Story by: Eric Nana Gyetua/Skyy News/Takoradi.