The Conference of Heads of Private Second-cycle Schools (CHOPSS) is not happy with the government over the implementation of the free senior high school (SHS) policy.
According to CHOPSS, its schools had been neglected in the introduction of the initiative.
It had, consequently, proposed the introduction of a system which would make it possible for students to attend private SHSs while still benefiting from the free SHS policy.
The private SHSs have every right to react to a situation that has resulted in their losing patronage, taking into consideration the huge investments in their schools.
Aside from the need for their schools to thrive, there is also the issue of the large number of people they employ and, by extension, their families who depend on the workers for their livelihood.
The questions, however, are, why did CHOPSS wait all this while before bringing out their issues? When it realised the impact the policy would have on its business, what input did the members make before the implementation of the free SHS policy?
The Daily Graphic supports the suggestions made by CHOPSS on how the new system could be made beneficial to the members and also ensure a win-win situation.
It suggested, for instance, that the government could allocate some funding to the private schools to enable them to absorb students who preferred private schools to public ones.
Alternatively, they said, private SHSs should be included among the schools listed on the self-placement website and tagged ‘private’ and parents be informed that when a private school was selected, the student would have to pay the school fees.
With that, it said, a student who might not be happy with his or her placement or a student who was not able to find a school that he or she liked might select a private school.
The government should also make some funds available to such private schools to cover the fees or part thereof for such students.
It is the view of the Daily Graphic that the government should not ignore the concerns of the private schools, considering their crucial role in the country’s educational system.
Indeed, they have been the conduit through which millions of students have attained the expertise and skills with which they are contributing to the country’s development in many facets of the economy and the introduction of the free SHS policy should not lead to the extinction of these schools.
They certainly should not be neglected.
Perhaps its time to go back to the table and work out a partnership. Private schools are offering an invaluable service and the government must tap into it for the benefit of the people.
Let us jaw-jaw, not war-war.