The manner in which the Capitation Grant is being implemented can compromise the standard of education in the country, the National President of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), Godwin Sowah, has said.
He said even though the idea behind the grant was good, the way it was being implemented would make the learning environment unattractive.
In an interview, Mr Sowah said currently there were some classrooms in some public schools which had as many as 100 pupils or more on roll “and this does not create a good environment for learning”.
He said in such a situation, the teacher would not be able to have effective interaction with the children, such as marking their exercises.
“There are some areas where parents cannot afford school uniforms, sandals and even one square meal a day for their children. Such pupils are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the Capitation Grant,” he explained.
Mr Sowah, who is also the Managing Director of Havard College in Accra, said the government needed to educate parents on how the Capitation Grant was being used to encourage them to be more responsible towards their own children.
Asked whether the implementation of the grant had affected enrolment in private schools, Mr Sowah said there had not been any effect and said the overcrowding in the classrooms had been caused by children who were not in school but rushed to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Capitation Grant.
He said the grant was not a threat at all to the running of private schools, since the difference between the fee-paying public basic schools and the Capitation Grant was insignificant.
The Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional Branch of GNAPS, Mr Gyimah Benneh, suggested that for the capitation programme to be effective, the government would have to expand existing facilities in public basic schools and post more teachers to the schools.
Mr Benneh, who is also the Managing Director of Solidarity Academy at Ashaiman, said it was wrong for private schools to be peeved for not being included in the provision of the Capitation Grant, since that would mean that the government would control the running of private schools.
Story By Severious Kale Dery