The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Dr. Kwasi Opoku Amankwah has cautioned head teachers of public schools about charging illegal fees from parents. His statement follows complaints received at the headquarters from concerned parents whose wards are beneficiaries of the government’s free senior high school education, a social intervention programme.
In a press statement signed by the Director-General and read in the news by Peacefm today, it stated that the GES has come across student’s clearance form where some illegal charges were spotted among the charges that final year students must pay before they school clears them.
It revealed that some heads of public SHS have added illegal items on the clearance form of final year students and are demanding students to pay them before the school clears them of not owing the school in any regard.
The clearance form, which is supposed to be signed by the various departmental heads of the school before finally being signed by the head teacher, had PTA dues among other charges which he did not state emphatically have been itemized on the form. Despite this, Dr. Kwasi Opoku has cautioned school heads not to charge any student under the free SHS policy any PTA dues or illegal monies whatsoever, since that’s against the rules of GES.
However, other charges such loss of school property, mishandled school property or destroyed school items which were in the possession of students during their stay on campus can be charged by the school. Even with that, the GES has given rules as to how much they can charge. Aside these legal charges, no head teacher has the right to charge any fee.
In his last words, the DG charged the Regional Directors of Education to put measures in place to check any head teacher who frowns on the directive.
Unfortunately, a similar situation is happening at the basic level. Some head teachers are also charging final year student who are about to write this year’s BECE illegal fees in the name of mock fees, extra classes and graduation T-shirts among others. Some parents and teachers are unhappy about the situation, but are afraid to speak out.