General News of Wednesday, 21 November 2018
The Ghana Education Service (GES) directs that the school system should not be used to collect PTA dues or levies.
It has also directed that no student should be sent home or prevented from any school activity for non-payment of PTA levies or dues.
The Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa gave the directive when he outlined the guidelines for the management of schools during the 2018/19 academic year.
The directive follows information received by the GES that some Senior High Schools (SHSs) are using PTA dues and levies as a condition to the insurance of admission letters.
Prof. Amankwa said it was a disturbing phenomenon and urged managers of schools to ensure that no student was disadvantaged because his or parents could not pay PTA dues or levies.
Contribution by PTA
He acknowledged the role and contribution of PTAs in the development and management of schools, adding “management is also very cautious of the significant contribution PTAs have over the years made towards the development of many schools.
“Management is, however, concerned about situations where students are barred from taking part in school programmes due to a parent’s inability to pay PTA dues or levies,” Prof. Amankwa stated.
He, therefore, encouraged PTAs to adopt more innovative and strategic ways of collecting levies and dues from their members without reference to schools.
“Heads of schools are not required to be signatories to PTA accounts unless so decided by PTAs themselves,” he said.
He explained that the approval of the director-general of the GES was no more necessary in the determination and imposition of PTA levies and dues.
Prof. Amankwa ,therefore, asked PTA executives to liaise with board of governors and heads of schools to determine projects to be undertaken in schools based on the priority needs of the school.
Transfer of students
Speaking on the transfer of students under the Free SHS policy, Prof. Amankwa stated that transfer of students from one school to another was allowed but stated that transfers should be guided by certain principles.
“The receiving school (the school a student is transferring to) should have vacancy for the student and this indication by the receiving school should be in writing and should be received by the transferring school (the school the student is leaving) before the process of the transfer is initiated in the transferring school,” he explained.
He said the heads of the receiving school must issue an assurance letter to the parents and “parent’s submit the assurance letter to the Director, Secondary Education Division,” he explained.
He stated that a child could be transferred from one school to another on the same residential status, “however, a student in the boarding house can be transferred to become a day student.
“For the purposes of emphasis, transfer from a day-student status to a boarding status shall not be allowed,” he emphasised, adding that transfers should only be effected upon prior approval by the director of secondary education.