The Ministry of Education (MoE) has asked senior high schools demanding unapproved levies from anxious parents to desist from the act while those who have already taken such levies are not to touch the money because the act is “illegal.”
Various SHS heads are demanding sums between GH¢350 and GH¢900 from parents of newly admitted first-year students under the pretext of preparing boarding facilities for the students because the government’s pledge to provide same is yet to materialize.
Some parents have criticized the levies as extortionate, particularly so when they are being taken without the approval of the Education Ministry or in some cases without parents’ consent. The plaintive parents say in most instances the levies were imposed, and deadline for payment is almost immediate.
Among schools accused of charging the fees are Achimota School, Mfantsipim School, Methodist Girls – Akuampim, and Aburi Girls. The Achimota School for instance says the levy is not compulsory but for students who wish to be admitted to the boarding house.
But the MoE’s Public Relations Officer, Paul Krampa told Joy FM the Ghana Education Service has not approved any such levies and read a directive from the Ministry calling for an immediate cessation.
“We can’t just understand why some heads of institution would take it upon themselves to be charging illegally. In fact what they are doing is illegal because they’ve not sought approval from the Ghana Education Service which has oversight responsibility over all Senior High Schools and Technical institutes in the country. The point is this; if you want to charge any extra levy you must seek approval but they cannot on their own be charging so exorbitantly… The directive from the ministry is that all those who have collected such money should not touch, they shouldn’t use the money to do anything because if they do so, it will be their own discretion and it will not be good for them.”