18.05.2005 Regional News

Heads of private schools warn against student poaching

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Tamale, May 18, GNA - Heads of private senior secondary schools in the Tamale Metropolis on Wednesday expressed their dismay at the way public senior secondary schools are poaching students from their schools. The heads said many of their students had found their way into public senior secondary schools without transfers and continuous assessment forms and wondered how the cumulative forms of such students were filled.

They said the practice was not only criminal but it was also helping students to leave without paying school fees they owed.

"Right now, we are facing difficulties in paying our teachers, settle our utility bills and meeting other commitments in our schools because of these debts".

The heads raised these concerns at a meeting to discuss issues impeding the development of education in the Northern Region in Tamale. "We are surprised about the behaviour of some of the headmasters in the public schools because these were students they refused to admit due to poor aggregates they made at the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) only to re-admit them after a one year tuition at a private school".

The authorities appealed to the Northern Regional Directorate of Education to help stop the practice and ensure that the proper procedures were followed to bring sanity into the education sector.

The Tamale branch of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) also discussed the government approved fees for the private schools and agreed to peg their fees between 350,000 cedis and 500,000 cedis and that is below the government approved fee of 698,000 cedis. The association said it had taken into consideration the poverty level in the north to reduce the fee to meet the pockets of the people. Mr Albert Atutiga, Northern Regional Chairman of GNAPS, appealed to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to provide teachers for the private schools in the metropolis and accommodation for the heads. He also appealed for reading and learning materials from the GES, saying: " This gesture will encourage more private spirited individuals to establish schools to improve the education sector".

Mr Atutiga urged the association to register with Schools and Colleges Sports Federation (SCSF) to participate in sporting activities to unearth talents for the region.

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