The hero championing the Free Senior High School Project, Hon. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, popularly know in public circles as NAPO has said the 300% WAEC registration/examination fee for final year students scheduled to write the BECE next year is not in bad faith.
In responding to some barrages of questions filed by media personalities who were invited to attend today’s meet the press encounter organized by the Ministry of Education under the auspices of the Ministry of Information, the all time and ever hardworking Education Minister responded to a specific question posed by a representative of the Private Schools Association, Ghana who questioned if government has not acted in bad faith to increase the WAEC registration/examination fee by 300% per the amount paid for same registration/examination last year. He explained that Government cannot be blamed since the 300% increment did not come from Government.
He was quick to state that over the years no Government has set WAEC registration/examination fee, therefore the fees charged WAEC has nothing to do with Government. He cited a situation where Government even had to negotiate with WAEC to beat down the registration/examination fee from Gh₵ 76.00 to Gh₵ 75.00.
According to him, Government will bear this year’s registration/ examination fee set by WAEC for all final year students in Public Basic Schools across the length and breadth of the country. He said, last year, Government paid 75% out of the BECE registration/examination fee charged by WAEC for all students in both Public and Private Basic Schools. He was quick to put on record that this year, final year students in private schools will bear the full cost of the registration/examination fee as demand by WAEC.
He supported his claim that Government has no business to pay the registration/exams fees for final year students in Private School by quoting Article 25(2) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. It reads, “Every person shall have a right at his own expense to establish and maintain a private school or schools at all levels and of such categories and in accordance to such conditions as may be provided by law”. He added that in view of the Article, Government has no locus to decide what private schools should charge as school fees, therefore running and maintaining the school cannot be at Government expense.
He went ahead and said, the most rapidly expanding levels of our educational system is the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary which the Private Schools play active role in such areas. He recounted and said, in his time as small boy growing up, there were very few private schools which he could readily count, but today there are a lot of private schools established up in every corner.
Story by Teacher Danquah/hardpointonline.com.