Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education has assured private school owners and teachers of the Ministry’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for them to thrive.
He said the Ministry and for that matter, the Government appreciated and valued the contributions private schools were making towards the socio-economic development of the country.
Therefore, the Minister said, he would not implement policies and programmes that would sabotage the efforts of private schools in the country.
Dr Adutwum said this at the opening of the 12th The Education Network (TEN) Conference by the Lincoln Community School, in Accra.
The conference sought to equip teachers, both from private and public schools with the best teaching practices to enable them to effectively deliver on their mandate.
The one-day conference, held on the theme: of “Belonging” brought together about 560 teachers, both private and public, from across the country.
Areas the conference would focus on included literature, mathematics, class management, administration, science and technology.
Dr Adutwum said commended Lincoln Community School for its contribution to education in the country, indicating that, he believed in private schools.
“I believe that private schools are contributing to the socio-economic development of Ghana in a very positive way. Sometimes when I hear my colleagues from the private sector talking about, you don't value private schools, no, that's not me. I'm one of you, I value you because, you see, for every 30 students that enter a private school, you are saving me the salary of one teacher. That's a salary I don't have to pay,” he said.
“So, the least I can do is to make your job easier. I will not do anything that will disadvantage you. If I disadvantage you, I'm hurting myself, I will be called upon to come up with money that I don't have to take care of the children you are taking care of now,” he said.
Dr Adutwum said Ghana was on the right path to achieving its transformation agenda in education.
He indicated that the current administration had committed more resources towards education development in the country than any other, adding that it had secured more funding to construct more primary, junior high and senior high schools across the country.
“We are very fortunate to have Nana Akufo-Addo as the President in charge of our nation. He has committed to education like none other, and for the benefit of some of you who may not know much about our public education system, we have been able to secure more funding to build more schools, to build more basic schools, not just high schools,” he said.
Ms Lesley Tait, Head of School, Lincoln Community School said, emphasized the need for schools to create an environment where every student would feel welcome.
She said creating a sense of belongingness in schools was critical in the development of every child.
Ms Tait said one key lesson the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic taught the world was that schools were communities, adding that, students missed out greatly when schools were closed own.
She said “following on from the COVID, from the times it was difficult for students to come to school. We've realised that school, actually is a community and students and all of us as adults crave a sense of belonging that comes from the communities.”
“Belonging matters,” she added.
At the conference, Ms Tait said more than 500 teachers participated, adding that “is a great sign for the Ghanaian education system.”
She urged participants to listen and learn to enable them to replicate the same at their various schools.