The Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) has, on February 28, 2024, launched its annual week celebration at the GNAT Hall, Accra. This year’s event, under the theme, “2024 Elections; The Private Education Manifesto” draws scores of members and a gathering of educators, administrators and stakeholders from across the country to the launch in Accra.

The former president of the Republic of Ghana, H.E John Dramani Mahama graced the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour with a professor of Educational Leadership and former Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. George Kweku Toku Oduro chairing the event.

In a compelling speech delivered by Professor Damasus Tuurosong, President of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), he emphasized the critical role of private education in the nation’s development. Addressing a diverse audience including former President John Dramani Mahama, Prof. Tuurosong highlighted the challenges faced by private schools and outlined GNAPS’ manifesto for the upcoming elections.

Prof. Damasus Tuurosong(right) engaging in a conversation with Fmr. President John Dramani Mahama(left)

During his speech, one of the president’s primary grievances was the exorbitant fees imposed by regulatory bodies, hindering the delivery of quality education. Prof. Tuurosong criticized the perception of private schools as profit-driven entities and called for the recognition of low-fee private schools as vital social interventions.

GNAPS president addresses audience at GNAPS Week launch

GNAPS president addresses audience at GNAPS Week launch

The speech also highlighted discriminatory practices such as the 30% Priority Placement System favouring public schools over private ones. Additionally, the president raised concerns regarding the licensing of teachers, with GNAPS advocating for a more accessible process for private school educators.

GNAPS pledged its support to any political party willing to address these issues, leveraging its significant constituency of over 1.5 million learners and thousands of educators and proprietors. Prof. Tuurosong concluded by urging stakeholders to uphold the right to education for all children, regardless of school ownership.

Fmr president John Mahama and Prof. K.T Oduro

Fmr President John Mahama and Prof. K.T Oduro

Responding to Prof. Tuurosong’s concerns, the former president of the Republic of Ghana acknowledged the contribution of private schools to the national development and global educational objectives stating, “The private sector plays a very key role…the basic schools are available even in areas where there are no public schools.

Fmr. President John Dramani Mahama speaking at the GNAPS week launch at GNAT Hall

The fourth president of the Fourth Republic of Ghana and the presidential candidate of the 2020 and 2024 elections under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stated, “…government and the private sector are partners in providing quality educational outcomes for Ghanaian children.”

The former head of state believes, “Government and the private sector complement each other in providing quality education for Ghanaian children.” He added that “Government and the Private sector are not competitors in providing education.”

GNAPS Week is an annual celebration where private school owners, administrators and stakeholders in education gather and commemorate their contributions to education and use the same platform to advocate for the private education sector.

Cross-section of school owners at the GNAPS Week Launch at the GNAT Hall

As the celebrations continue, the call for free and fair assessment, placement, and resource allocation resonates across regions, districts, and zones. The event serves as a rallying cry for private school rights and equitable education practices in Ghana.