Students of DEKS International School on a float as part of their 50th anniversary
Students of DEKS International School on a float as part of their 50th anniversary

Include private schools in free SHS programme

The General Manager of DEKS Educational Institute at Tema in the Greater Accra Region, Mark Dei has urged the government to include private Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the implementation of the free SHS programme. 

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He said the private sector have capacity to complement their counterparts in the public schools in implementing the policy and urged government to include private schools in the Computerized School Selection and Placement system (CSSPS) to help address some of the challenges association with the policy such as frequently overcrowded schools and classrooms in public schools

Mr Dei was speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic at Tema on the sidelines of a street float organised by staff and students of DEKS Educational Institute as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the school.

Clad in DEKS@50 paraphernalia, the staff and students went on a procession along some principal streets in Tema and Ashaiman to interact with the public. The theme for the celebration was; “Half a century of education success, proud past, and a promising future.”

Mr Dei said the private schools had the facilities and capacity to provide sound education for the students, noting that some parents had shown high interest in private schools over the last few years.

Imbalance

He indicated that though private schools have been applauded in the past for improving academic achievement; they were facing a number of challenges due to some of the policies that exist in the education sector.

“We seem to be branded in a negative light as being exploiters and because of that we are suffering and a lot of the private schools have had to close down their Private SHS because they are not being given a fair ground to operate.” He said.

He said unfortunately the imbalance has been extended to the pre Junior High School level where as part of government Free SHS policy, 30 percent of places in Category A’ Senior High Schools have been reserved for students from public basic schools who have performed creditably at the BECE.

Mr Dei expressed displeasure over a decision adding that the situation that this has led to a worrying trend where the moment learners in private schools gets to class six, parents were in a rush to move them to the public schools because they want them to get placement in SHS regardless of what aggregate score they get.

He expressed concern at the dwindling numbers of student population in private schools and appealed to the government to add private schools to the list of schools to partner their counterparts in the public schools to help make the free SHS better.

Writer’s email: [email protected] 

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