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23.11.2005 Regional News

Do not send children home for non-payment of PTA levies

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Wa, Nov. 23, GNA - Mr Cletus Paaga, Upper West Regional Director of Education on Tuesday warned against sending school children home for failure to pay Parent-Teacher-Association (PTA) dues. He said PTAs should not also compel teachers to be the collectors of such dues, as had been the practice in the past.

Mr Paaga, who was addressing teachers in the Lawra District, as part of his maiden interaction with them said the capitation grant covered cultural and sports fees and so, it was illegal for any headteacher to charge such fees in their schools.

The Regional Director told them, supervision would be intensified to expose teachers, who inflate figures of their schools for assistance, but reduce such figures in times of payment of school fees and any other fees that would be to their advantage.

He explained that in several cases, headteachers inflated enrolment figures anytime they were asked to submit them for assistance, but anytime they were asked to send cultural and sports fees to education offices, enrolment figures reduced drastically.

He appealed to the teachers to take advantage of the government's fee-free policy for distance learning education to upgrade themselves, since the teaching field was becoming extremely competitive and choked up in terms of promotions and better remunerations.

Mr Paaga said although the government had released the capitation grants to various schools, those who did not complete their school performance improvement plans would not be given their share of the money.

"Under no circumstance should any teacher refuse to enroll a child in his or her school. If your enrolment is more than the infrastructure in your school, apply to the education office to run a shift and we shall provide you with more teachers and other logistics." Some the teachers complained of long services without corresponding promotions, discrimination in sponsorship for further studies and lack of cooperation between some headteachers and their subordinates.