Private Schools sue about preferential access

The leaders of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) are preparing to sue the Ghanaian government over what they call a discriminatory, uneven distribution of students under the Senior High School computer placement system (CSSPS).

Under government policy, 30% of admissions to Category A Senior High Schools are reserved for public junior high school graduates, meaning only up to 70% can be filled by private JHS graduates.

The GNAPS President, Dr. Damasus Tuurusong, is critical of the 30% priority allocation, which he claims disadvantages private Junior High School students.

According to Dr. Tuurusong, students are leaving their private basic institutions for public JHS to increase their chances of getting placement by the SHS computer selection system. He, therefore, deems the policy discriminatory towards private schools.

Every student entering senior high school wants the best. So, when they go to a private school, their chances of entering a Category A school are reduced. So, when they get to the early years of junior high school, they leave the private schools and go to the public. These students because of their grooming from the private schools they come out as the best and get placed in the best senior high schools,” he said.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, has called “for more collaboration with the association to have its concerns addressed” but appears to stand by the current policy.

The editorial opinion:
Without a mandatory allocation to public JHS graduates, it is likely that those parents who are economically strongest and able to afford private junior high schools will see their children attend the best high schools in Ghana. In order to retain a shiver of meritocracy and equal opportunity for all Ghanaians, it is important that every child who is academically outstanding has a chance to attend the best high schools in the country. Whether 30% is the right quota remains up for discussion.

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