Private schools appeal for government intervention in exam fees for private school students

April 30, 2024
Private schools appeal for government intervention in exam fees for private school students

The Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) has urged the government to absorb the registration fees for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to alleviate the burden on private school students.

During the launch of the private school Pre-tertiary Education Manifesto for the 2024 elections in , GNAPS President Professor Damus Tuurosong highlighted the challenges faced by private school candidates due to exorbitant exam fees charged by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). He emphasized that the high fees had led to many private school candidates dropping out of school either in their final year of Junior High School or senior high school.

Professor Tuurosong revealed that the 2024 WASSCE candidates in private SHSs paid GHC 465 as the WAEC registration fee, with additional charges for practical and oral language papers. He pointed out that BECE fees had increased significantly over the past four years, from Ghc 77 in 2020 to Ghc 214.01 in 2014, representing a 178 per cent hike in fees, while private school fees had increased by only 45 per cent on average during the same period.

The Association called on the government to extend the free Senior High School programme to private school students and advocated for a review of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 to eliminate exorbitant regulatory charges by authorities such as the National Schools Inspectorate Authority, the National Teaching Council, and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

Furthermore, GNAPS appealed for the abolishment of “nuisance” taxes impacting the cost of doing business, and the review of property rates and business operating permits charged by local Assemblies. They also urged the government to scrap the 30 per cent Priority Placement System for BECE candidates to prevent financial malfeasance.

Representatives from political parties, including the Progressive Peoples' Party and the Convention Peoples' Party (CPP), acknowledged the challenges highlighted by GNAPS and pledged to prioritize the interests of the private sector to foster growth in Ghana's educational sector. Nii Adjetey Sowah, a representative from the CPP, emphasized the need for urgent action to address the issues facing the pre-tertiary level of education in Ghana.

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