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30.10.2013 Editorial

Better Ghana Admission Charges

By Daily Guide
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PARENTS whose wards gained admission to senior high schools this year have harrowing stories to tell about what they went through.

Their predicament might not stem from the computer placement challenges, but the hidden charges imposed on them by heads of schools their kids were placed in.

Primed with their bank drafts covering the basic services such as tuition and others, they were also slapped with unexpected charges when they turned up at the schools to go through admission formalities.

Although not as queer as last year's admission blues when parents were made to buy bags of cement, buckets of paint and others, this year's has its own version of challenges.

To be fair to the school heads, they are only applying economic survival instincts in a country where the central government is so cash-strapped that schools have had to go without chalk and other teaching stuff. In the face of such challenges, the school heads are expected to maintain the standards of the schools they manage by being ingenious to achieve the necessary balance.

Such ingenuity might be to the good of the schools not so to parents whose unfavourable economic situations have been further stretched.

When parents are, therefore, asked to buy prospectuses listing the items to be bought for school, it is one of the means of keeping afloat on a choppy sea by the headmasters and headmistresses.

The high dose of hypocrisy being exhibited by the government in the face of these challenges is what is mind-boggling.

The disparities in the level of fees being charged by school heads as parents moan over the financial strain is enough evidence that the central authority has no control over the unfolding challenges. This grim situation makes the promises pledged to Ghanaians about a certain easing of the burden on parents so education can be brought to the doorstep of every Ghanaian fall flat on the face.

The chicks have come home to roost and nobody is in the dark about which political grouping is sincere and which has been engaged in massive throwing of dust into the eyes of the people of this country.

The Minister of Education was reported as telling Ghanaians that this year the protocol admissions of pupils will be scrapped. Developments on the ground have, however, belied the minister's disclosure and we just wonder why such insincerity and mendacity have become ingrained hallmarks of the government.

While we bemoan the travails parents have gone through at the hands of school authorities, we are unable to be too hard on the headmasters and headmistresses.

The truth of the matter is that we are saddled with a government mired in financial challenges of gargantuan dimension which marks another grim phase of the so-called Better Ghana agenda.

We were promised a better deal, one which could dwarf the 'free SHS Now' mantra. But now we know the difference between falsehood and the truth!


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