Parents to bear cost of additional items for students

BY: Severious Kale-Dery & Aryitey Joseline Naa-Amuah
• Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa — Director-General, GES
• Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa — Director-General, GES

First year students who may require additional items after they receive supplies under the one-off fees, will be required to inform their parents to buy those items for them.

The one-off items under the Free SHS policy are normally procured for the first year students and it is expected that the students would use them for the three years they are expected to be in school.

One-off items

The items include school uniforms, house dress, Physical Education (PE) kits and school cloth.

The rest are ID card, one supplementary reader, three core literature books, nine exercise books and four note books.

For those offering technical education, aside from the above, they also need technical drawing instruments, technical drawing board and Tee square.

The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, announced this at a press conference in Accra last Monday.

Press conference

The press conference was to explain aspects of the Free SHS policy introduced last year, the double-track system and the placement of qualified candidates under the double-track system, as well as how the GES was dealing with the challenges emanating from the placement system.

The press conference was also to update journalists on the Free SHS policy, the double-track system and steps being taken to ensure the smooth take off of the double-track system.

Prof. Amankwa explained that those items were one-off and that the onus was on parents to provide subsequent ones for their children if the need arose.

PTA dues

On Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) dues, he said based on discussions with stakeholders, “we have resolved that the PTA is an association for parents and also for teachers and not for students, so under no circumstance should a student be deprived of academic work or any school activities because his parents had not paid or contributed his or her quota to PTA levy.”

Prof. Amankwa said the PTA had the free hand and the latitude to operate to support the schools and government, “but just as the alumni of schools do (they have their own association, they have their own bank account and then at the end of the day, they go to the school, interact with the governing council of the school and heads and then they agree on the things that they need to support the school), we want the PTA to equally go along those lines.”

He admitted that the PTA partnered schools to help in the development of the schools, but insisted that it was a voluntary organisation and its operation should not affect the students, adding that “as association members, we should not visit our liability on our children.”