Three major educational unions, GNAT, NAGRAT and TEWU, have registered their displeasure of the privatization and commercialization of education, making it a commodity at the basic level in the country.
Speaking at the end of an evaluation workshop on the privatization and commercialization of education in Ghana, the National Secretary for the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) Samuel Dadzie said that, to ensure that Ghana’s educational system has a very strong foundation, the responsibility of this level of education must not be left in the hands of the private entrepreneur.
The basic level, Kindergarten, Primary and Junior High School (JHS), are the foundation of the country’s educational system..
“Just as how the state is finding money for the free SHS, the lower level of our educational system must be well resourced to provide free quality KG, primary and JHS education,” Dadzie stated.
In a communiqué to the representative of Minister for Education, the Union expressed its deep concern regarding the reported establishment of a new global fund for education; the Education Outcome Fund (EOF) for Africa and Middle East.
Ghana is noted as a potential target country of this fund.
Dadzie disclosed the unions were alarmed to learn that the focus of this fund will be non-state actors.
“This will contribute to the commercialization of education and legitimize profit making in the provision of education,” he said.
Hence, this will weaken efforts to strengthen and expand the provision of inclusive and equitable quality free education for all, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, he added.
Dadzie said, “EOF’s promotion of schooling models including charter schools/PPPs and fee charging, known as the ‘low cost’, private schools ignore the growing body of evidence, which shows that privatization does not improve access to education nor improve outcomes but rather deepens inequality and segregation denying the right of all children to quality education.”
The Head of Research at the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Johnson Doh said, based on a research conducted on a sampled private school by the Union; there is the need for the ministry to clarify the roles and responsibilities of education service and district assembly with regards to supervision, regulation and provision of school infrastructure.
Doh further asked that the ministry should promulgate basic structures and standards required of private schools to be granted license to operate.
The Union called on government to demonstrate its full commitment to the SDG 4.
This research was commissioned by educational international in partnership with FES Ghana, NAGRAT and GNAT.
By Joshua W. Amlanu