Free SHS causing collapse of over 100 private schools

Free SHS causing collapse of over 100 private schools

- About half of the 280 Private Senior High schools in the country could be forced to shut down

- According to the Conference of Heads of Private Second Cycle Schools (CHOPPS) there is a dwindling level of student enrolment in their schools

The Conference of Heads of Private Second Cycle Schools (CHOPPS) has warned that over 100 private secondary schools in the country could collapse in the near future.

According to CHOPPS, the level of student enrolment in the private secondary schools has been dwindling over the years.

The body said the introduction of the Free SHS policy has also contributed to the current problems.

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Speaking to Accra-based Citi FM, the General Secretary of CHOPPS, Joseph Dzamesi, said all attempts to engage the government has proved futile.

280 private schools are in the country. Within the next couple of years we are estimating that about 50% of them will be out of business. Currently about a third of them are on life support, barely surviving. And a number of them have completely collapsed,” he said.

Mr. Dzamesi added that should the various private secondary schools be allowed to shut down, there will be massive job losses.

When you look at it in terms of the economics, they have estimated that both teaching and non-teaching staff, private senior high schools employ about 10,000 people across the country. Obviously your guess is as good as mine.

“That means that when about half of them collapse over the next couple of years, about 5,000 jobs are going to be lost in terms of the students. We provide access to about 70,000 children and now a bunch of the classrooms are empty. Students are struggling with the double track,” he lamented.

CHOPPS had expressed its reservations with government’s absorption of 15 private schools under the Free Senior High School Policy.

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Mr. Dzamesi said what the private secondary schools want is a partnership, not to cede control to government.

They [absorbed schools] have become government schools just like Achimota Schools or some mission schools that have been given to government to run. So that is not what we are talking about. We are asking for partnership and they have thrown that away completely.”

“We presented proposals to government and as far as I know, none of the proposals were taken,” he stressed.

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