12.03.2005 General News

Prosecute parents who refuse to pay fees - Atutiga

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Tamale, March 12, GNA - Mr. Albert Atutiga, Managing Director of the Tamale Girls International High School, (TAGIS) a private Girls School in Tamale on Saturday advocated for the prosecution of parents, who refuse to pay for their wards school fees to ensure that every child, particularly girls remained in school. He has, therefore appealed to school authorities, especially private schools not to sack school children for their inability to settle all their fees since it was the sole responsibility of parents to ensure that their wards' fees were paid. Mr Atutiga made the appeal during a Parent/ Teacher Association (PTA) meeting of TAGIS in Tamale.

The meeting was aimed at seeking modalities and measures to improve the development of the school and to see how best school authorities could collaborate with parents to ensure discipline and general upkeep of the school as well as ensuring that girls do not drop from school. "It is high time school authorities started prosecuting parents who refuse to pay for their wards school fees rather than disturbing innocent children who have no source of income to settle fees themselves". he said.

Mr Atutiga observed that some school authorities even go as far as punishing children who owed fees, describing it as the worse form of child abuse, which needed to be stopped once and for all, to give the children the peace of mind to study. He said the practice of sacking children during class periods because of fees was an embarrassment affecting their performance since they were seen as "odd" ones among their colleagues and that the best way to retrieve fees was through amicable communication with parents.

Mr. Atutiga also advised parents to constantly visit their wards, particularly those at boarding schools, which he said, would help improve their performance. He said the inability of some parents to constantly visit their wards for their progress reports was one of the major factors contributing to the fallen standards of education in the country. The headmaster of the school, Mr. Joseph Abayaruk enumerated the problems of the school and called on the PTA to help solve them, particularly the water situation to save children from going outside the campus in search of water. Interim executive members were chosen during the meeting with Mr. Daniel Yakubu as chairman and Mr Eric Sagraza as vice chairman, while Mrs Juliet Awafo was elected treasurer.

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