A delegation of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) on April 2, 2024, engaged the Manifesto Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – the ruling party, in a bid to address pressing challenges facing private schools in Ghana. The meeting, held at the seat of Government; Jubilee House, saw the delegation present GNAPS’s “Pre-Tertiary Private Schools Manifesto” – a comprehensive strategic document that outlines the Association’s vision and the critical issues affecting private education in the country and needs immediate attention.

Led by Mr Emmanuel Theophilus Kwei, the 1st Vice President of GNAPS, the delegation including Mr Justice King Essiel, the General Secretary, and Eredon Gien Joseph, the Media Relations Officer met with prominent members of the NPP’s Education Committee team, including Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Prof. Opoku Amankwah, Dr. Hilda Ampadu, and Gifty Twum Ampofo among others to discuss issues of concern for the non-state education service providers.

This crucial dialogue is aimed at tackling the pressing challenges that pre-tertiary private schools face in the country. The association’s proactive approach highlights the urgency to foster a collaborative environment where private schools can thrive alongside pre-tertiary state/public schools.

During the meeting, GNAPS highlighted several critical challenges confronting private schools, including the 30% Priority Placement System, exorbitant examination registration fees, collapse of private senior high schools, high NaSIA charges, licensure examination requirements, the collapse of low-fee private schools, and burdensome taxes and operating fees.

The GNAPS team proposed comprehensive solutions to these challenges, urging the NPP to consider policy changes that would alleviate the burden on private school proprietors and ensure the sustainability of the non-state education sector. Proposed solutions included revising the Priority Placement System, subsidizing examination fees for private school candidates, absorbing private SHSs into the Free SHS program, reforming NaSIA regulations, making licensure optional for private school teachers, supporting low-fee private schools, and reducing nuisance taxes and operating fees.

In their engagement with the NPP Manifesto Committee, GNAPS emphasized the importance of collaboration between government bodies, educational institutions, and the wider community to address these issues effectively. They underscored the need for a level playing field for all schools, regardless of ownership, to ensure equitable access to quality education for all Ghanaian children.

The meeting marked the second stakeholder engagement within one month, following a previous meeting between GNAPS and the manifesto team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on March 5, 2024.

These meetings are pleas for partnership, calls for support, and testaments to GNAPS’s commitment to ensuring that private education remains a viable and quality option for Ghanaian students. As the government reviews the manifesto, there is a palpable hope that this will mark the beginning of a new era of educational policy—one that embraces the contributions of private schools and integrates them into the broader national agenda for educational excellence.

GNAPS reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for the interests of private schools and fostering dialogue with all political parties to achieve quality education service delivery in Ghana. The delegation expressed optimism that the NPP Manifesto Committee would consider their proposals and work towards implementing viable solutions to support the private education sector in the country.