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11.06.2005 Regional News

B/A Private Schools to Abolish School Bus System

Spacefm

Private schools in the Brong Ahafo Region have threatened to abolish the school bus system due to huge expenses they are incurring.The Chairman of the Brong Ahafo Regional Association of Private Schools, Nana Kwakye II, who gave the hint in an interview with Space FM in Sunyani, pointed out that “they can no longer continue to absorb the ever increasing cost in conveying the school children to and from school every day while government has turned its back on them”.

Nana Kwakye, who is also the proprietor of Infant Jesus International School, noted that most of the private schools in the region are running into bankruptcy as a result of the high cost of maintaining their school buses.“We can not hike the transportation fare because the parents are already burdened”, he told Space News.

Nana emphasised that the only option left for them is stop using their buses and allow parents to bring their children to school. He expressed concern about the lukewarm attitude of the Government, and the Sunyani Municipal Assembly towards private schools in the region.The chairman reiterated that both the government and the Assembly have the responsibility of ensuring that private schools operate effectively to contribute to the overall development of the educational system and therefore called on the two bodies as well as the regional education directorate to ensure that private schools are given adequate support.

The proprietor noted that most of the students who perform remarkably well during the BECE and SSSCE come from the private schools, adding that the Ministry of Private Sector Development has marginalized private schools and taken care of only enterprises, forgetting that private schools play active roles in nurturing successful entrepreneurs.

Nana noted that the most populated basic school in the Sunyani Municipality St Mary's has already packed their buses and its pupils are attending school on their own.When the headmistress of the school was contacted by Space FM, she declined to comment on the matter, saying “the issue has nothing to do with the press.”

Nana Kwakye described the assertion made by the Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education, Miss Elizabeth Ohene, that “the state may encounter real difficulties using its funds to develop private Institutions established by individuals or a group of people” as unfortunate and uncalled for.He was of the view that the welfare of private schools should have been the paramount on the Get Fund's agenda and called for a review of the fund.

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