Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) in the Upper West Region have raised a red flags over what they have described as the refusal of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to recognize PTAs as private associations.
This was contained in a press release to the press signed by Mr Raymond D.Bayor, the Upper West Regional chairman of PTA.
The statement said it is very surprising that the GES does not recognize PTAs as private associations but ironically recognizes the contributions of PTAs given to government assisted senior high schools, this the statement said is directly affecting the collaboration between the GES and PTAs in the region.
The association described as an unfortunate situation where the Upper West Regional Director of Education Madam Patricia Ayiko was alleged to have made a statement to the effect that the GES does not recognize PTAs at the district, regional and national levels and that heads of schools should take over the management of PTAs.
The statement said this is “a direct shot aimed at killing Parent Teacher Association in the region”. T
his posture according to the statement if it reflects the GES stands is an unfortunate situation since it is the school PTAs that have come together to form the regional and national council of PTAs and serve as a mouth piece of parents at secondary level of education.
The statement called on the GES to stop forthwith issuing directives that “Mandates school heads and their accountants who are ex-officio members to be signatories to the accounts of PTAs instead of constitutionally mandated elected executives”, saying that in some schools PTA accounts are still in the mainstream accounts and called for decoupling of the two accounts and allow parents to pay dues directly into PTA accounts as this move will prevent wards from handling cash to school.
The statement was also concerned about the GES directives that all PTA projects including emergencies must be approved by the Director General in Accra a situation according to the Upper West Regional branch of PTA is uncalled for since most of these projects are approved only after follow-ups and this according to the press release will incur cost as it would involve travels, accommodation and feeding all these can be factored into overhead cost of a given project. It stated that approvals by school board of governors should be enough for the take off of every PTA projects in all schools in the three regions of the north.
The Upper West Regional branch of the PTA bemoaned a situation where some school items paid by parents such as books, school uniforms, track suits, house vests and ICT and library services are not provided to the students till they complete school and questions the whereabouts of the monies which are often not made known to the wards and their parents leading to disturbances in various schools and called the GES to take steps to stop the situation. It alleges that some school authorities have been using PTA monies they collected in the running of their schools without the consent of parents with the reason that government funding delay in coming and such monies according to the statement are never paid back any time the government releases grants to schools.
It also wondered why some schools in the region have no substantive heads and instead district directors of education are rather mandated to take over sight responsibilities of those schools and reject the situation where heads on compulsory retirement are made to hand on as headmasters a situation which does not augur well for the running of schools and called on the GES to take pragmatic steps to fill those vacancies.