Halt activities of ‘low-fee’ private schools — Coalition

Halt activities of ‘low-fee’ private schools — Coalition

A coalition of labour unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has called on the government to immediately reverse the increasing commercialisation of education in the country.


According to them, commercialisation makes education a commodity and pupils or students become customers or clients, which has adverse effects on the education of people, especially children.

The coalition is made up of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition.


The rest are: Right to Play, Ghana, International Child Development Programme, Ghana NGO Coalition on the Rights of the Child and Educational International.

In particular, they want the government to, among others, check the activities of “low-fee” private schools.

Speaking at a strategic meeting by members of the coalition in Accra last Saturday, the General Secretary of NAGRAT, Mr Stanislaus Nabome, said the motive of the owners of “low fee” private schools was profit-making and in order to achieve that aim, “they deliver standardised curriculum and employ either underqualified or unqualified staff who earn a fraction of the average teacher’s salary. They, therefore, cut costs by avoiding public employment regulations and standards.”

He further contended that the claim by such schools that their existence had increased access to education for children in deprived communities was false because “rather than establishing schools in underserved areas to increase access, they set them up in communities where the owners can maximise profit.

 Low–fee private schools

Unlike the traditional private schools that cater for children whose parents have the means to pay for private education, low–fee private schools target the poor.

The concept, which is very popular in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, was introduced in Ghana in 2009.

It is based on a pay-as-you-learn model which means each pupil is supposed to pay a daily fee in order to access the services offered by the schools.

 Low remuneration

Mr Nabome said teachers of such schools, apart from being untrained, were also poorly paid and did not enjoy job security, making it difficult for their pupils to get the best out of them, and added: “they earn about 15-20 per cent of what a teacher is supposed to earn.”

 Capitalist system

The General Secretary of GNAT, Mr David Ofori Acheampong, said the strategy adopted by low-fee private schools was the same strategy that drove capitalism, contending that “the pay-as-you learn is the same system telecommunication companies use to bill their clients.

 “This means that if a parent cannot pay the fee for the day, his/her child cannot attend school,” he added.

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