THE Minister of Education, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, has admonished the management of Senior High Schools (SHS) not to use Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) as financial tools to exploit parents.
He noted that the ministry was alarmed about the various charges as PTA levies that appeared on the bills of schools which tended to swell up fees, thereby making it difficult for parents to conveniently afford secondary education.
“We are reliably informed that some of these charges are labelled PTA dues but they are usually not with the consent of the general PTA” he stressed.
Mr Tettey-Enyo gave the admonition in a speech read on his behalf by Ms. Benedicta Naana Biney, the acting Director- General (DG) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) at the maiden speech and prize-giving day of the Hwidiem SHS (HWISEC) at Hwidiem in the Asutifi District of the Brong Ahafo Region, over the weekend.
He stated further that students were also charged for books some of which were not relevant to the various fields of study but sold under the guise of supplies approved by the PTA.
Mr Tettey-Enyo, therefore, recommended that parents should be provided with the list of suggested supplementary textbooks for them to be acquired at their convenience.
“It is time we collectively questioned what goes into our bills, reduce them if possible and made education more affordable. Much as we approve of the support systems that are provided to complement the efforts of government, the basic principle of affordability should not be sacrificed”, he added.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asutifi South who presented the letters of the award of the scholarship to the beneficiary students at the ceremony urged school authorities to insulate their campuses from partisan politics in order not to undermine the peace and tranquility in their schools , thereby adversely affecting effective teaching and learning.
The Head of the English Department of the University of Education, Winneba, Prof. Yaw Sekyi-Baidoo, said national development was not only about the acquisition of knowledge and skills but how one could use these attributes to the benefit of themselves and society at large.
Mr Jacob Felix Amoah, the Headmaster of the School in his report said discipline had been the hallmark of the school and therefore did not come as a surprise when the school scored 100 per cent at the 2009 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
He, however, appealed for a school bus to enhance academic work and appealed for accommodation for teachers on the school campus and the immediate repairs of the floors of the school’s Assembly and Dinning Hall and their ceilings which leaks badly.
Mr Joseph Badu, the Asutifi District Director of Education for his part urged the students to concentrate on their studies and not to allow themselves to be distracted by the ‘galamsey’ operations going on in the area.