Mr Alex Kyeremeh, the Deputy Minister of Education, has warned that educational institutions that the ministry would not accept additional levying of students outside the standardised fees.
He said: “If any school has plans to charge any levy outside the standardised fees, I humbly plead that they go through the laid down procedures to get approval,” he said.
Mr Kyeremeh gave the warning when he delivered an address at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Ashaiman Senior High School on the theme: “Changing Trends in our Educational System – Challenges.”
He said the government has responded to the changing trends in education by investing heavily in secondary education to improve access and quality teaching and expansion, especially in underserved communities and to develop the skills of students.
He said the government has absorbed 10 fee items like examination, entertainment, library, Student Representative Council, sports, culture, science development, science and mathematics quiz, information communication technology and co-curricular to ease the cost burden on parent for day students.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the significant reliefs to parents under the progressive secondary education programme do not remove the responsibility of parents to contribute to their children’s education,” he said.
He said parents would have to bear the cost of admission fees and parent-teacher-association levies and provide uniforms, books, cumulative records, medical examination and physical education kits.
The Deputy Minister said performance in mathematics and science at the secondary level has historically been low and government has resolved to confront the problem to improve teachers and students outputs.
Mr Kyeremeh told the students that given the commitment of government and their parents, they must take the responsibility to stick to their books in order to improve their performance in school.
Mrs Cynthia Obuo Nti, the Headmistress of the Ashaiman Senior High School said the institution was established in 1990 with 30 students and two teachers and non-teaching staff with two programmes, but now has a population of 1,200.
She said the WASSCE results for 2015 showed improvement over the previous years.
Mrs Nti advised that the focus of the nation’s educational system must be directed towards the societal needs to open the students up to entrepreneurship and self-actualisation.
She mentioned some of the challenges that the school face as accommodation for staff, students hotel, additional places of convenience and land for expansion and appealed to the Ghana Water Company to allocate portion of their land to the school.
The Headmistress said the bus that was provided to the facility in 2008 had broken down and its maintenance cost outweighs the facility’s coffers whilst the Isuzu pick is also in bad shape.
She said these had rendered headache to both students and administrative staff and called on the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to provide the school with vehicles to alleviate the plight.
Mrs Nti pleaded with stakeholders and benevolent societies to support students with the payment of school fees and other needs.
She applauded Chesed Foundation, which sponsored some past students through the school to the university and also for the provision of Information Communication Technology Centre.
She also expressed appreciation to Vodafone, one of the leading communication providers and the British Council for taking charge of the students’ girls to read science.
Some best students were award for their hard work at school.