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01.09.2005 General News

PTA's can't deny pupils place in schools

GNA

Accra, Sept.1, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports says no decision of Parent-Teacher Associations across the country should keep pupils and students of first and second cycle institutions from their studies.

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Sector Minister, said this when he took his turn at this week's Meet The Press Series in Accra, making an apparent reference to the Capitation Grant introduced by the Government. The introduction of the grant effectively abolishes school levies in basic schools at the national level.

He said the grant, to which the Government had committed 113 billion cedis, should have a huge effect on enrolment and participation of pupils and students, as it should remove a major barrier to access and retention. He noted that the Government was aware that the capitation grant might not cover some levels of levies imposed by PTA's especially those in urban areas.

"The position of government is that while PTAs may have the option of imposing levies for some school projects, these levies should not prevent a child whose parents are unable to pay from going to school." Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Ghana Education Service (GES) would sanction teachers, who violated this regulation.

He explained that 50 per cent of the 113 billion cedis capitation grant would be given to the schools through the District Directorate of Education when schools re-opened.

On quality education and management, he said the 2015 target of pupil to teacher ratio (PTR) of 35: 1 at the primary level has been globally reached.

"The issue here," he noted, is the great variations in the PTR at the urban areas as against the rural areas which brings the necessity of equitably deploying teachers across the country."

He said measures such as teacher incentive schemes to create acceptance of postings to rural areas have been introduced. Bicycles, home appliances, accommodation and motorbikes were being provided. He said all basic schools would be supplied with textbooks for all subjects in the ratio of 1:1 from the beginning of the next academic year.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said with the upgrading of programmes of the Teacher Training Schools to diploma levels, the curriculum had been reviewed to be in line with the basic school curriculum. The minimum entry requirement for teacher trainees has been raised to conform to university requirements while tutors' qualifications had been raised to a minimum of first degree. 1 Sept. 05

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