Levies raised by Parents and Teacher Associations (PTA) from students popularly called “PTA dues” have received a lot of flack over the years due to the fact that some school heads use the students’ refusal or inability to pay it as an excuse to prevent them from writing their exams.
Parents and students alike can breathe a sigh of relief as the Ghana Education Service (GES) has suspended the collection of levies under the auspices of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) in all public senior high schools (SHSs) and technical/vocational institutions (TVETs).
The directive is to enable the GES to streamline and review all such PTA levies in all public SHSs/TVETs. In an interview in Accra last Friday, January 11, 2019, the Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, noted with serious concern “the proliferation of various levies under the guise of PTA levies.” Myjoyonline.com quotes Prof Amankwa as saying: “These levies are defeating the objective of the government in removing cost as a barrier to secondary education in Ghana.”
Some heads of SHSs are said to have circulated letters to parents, stating in part that their children would not be allowed to attend classes if they did not pay their PTA dues. Prof.Amankwa explained that the management of the GES acknowledged the important role PTAs were playing in the running of schools. But he insisted that PTAs were associations, just like all other groupings, such as old students associations, and should, therefore, not use the school system to collect their levies.
Prof. Amankwa stated that the suspension would be enforced pending the streamlining and review of all these levies.
He concluded: “It is the expectation of the management that heads of schools and PTA executives will cooperate in this exercise to ensure that the free SHS programme is successfully implemented.”