Private schools in the country have been advised against charging fees to provide online teaching and learning before the new academic year for its continuing students begins in January 2021.
The Executive Director of the African Education Watch, Kofi Asare made this call after the government set the return to school for all nursery, kindergarten, primary, Junior High School and Senior High students to the beginning of 2021.
However, some schools with the required logistics and infrastructure are considering going ahead with the regular running of the academic calendar online at a cost to be borne by parents.
But Kofi Asare, in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, said these sessions cannot be considered part of the academic year.
He added that any attempt by the private institutions to run a new academic year at this time will be illegal and in defiance of the government’s directive.
“Whatever they are doing is good for the academic loss but it’s complimentary and not obligatory for parents to subscribe too. You can roll out this intervention but it shouldn’t b obligatory because it’s non-scoring. So if the school tells me that this term is obligatory, I won’t agree.”
“It is illegal and every parent can go to court on that. It will be inequitable because that wasn’t part of the arrangements for your child to be in school. The school doesn’t have the right to open the term. The government determines the term opening. You can’t force the parents to pay because there is no 2020/2021 term yet in Ghana.”
Meanwhile, second-year Junior High School and Senior High School students will be returning to school on October 5, 2020.
Schools in the country were shut down in March 2020 after Ghana recorded its first two cases of Coronavirus infection.
Final year students were later allowed to return to schools to enable them to sit for their exit exams; the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) for JHS students and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for SHS students.
After five months of closure, however, many have called on the government to reopen the schools to make up for lost academic contact hours.