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Pre-Tertiary Education Bill - What it means

There have been calls on Parliament to consider amending the new Pre-Tertiary Education Bill to take the interests of private, public, and faith-based institutions.

Ghana education

Since independence, Ghana has experienced a chequered regulatory framework for education.

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This erratic formulation and implementation of education policies have sunk the country to the bottom of the world's league of education.

Therefore, as a major stakeholder in Ghana's educational system, some educational think tanks were elated at the formulation of a new education bill.

However, the lingering question is: Will the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019 stem the fluctuating fortunes of education in the country.

The objective of the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill is to provide for a decentralised pre-tertiary education system that will produce individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, and values, to become productive citizens for national development as well as establish a technical and vocational education and training service, among others.

The new Service will help the government to shift the emphasis from grammar education to technical and vocational education in Ghana.

The Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019 is made up of 102 Clauses and one Schedule.

The Schedule lists the Technical and Vocational Education, and Training institutions currently under the various Ministries, which shall be absorbed into the Service.

Under section 32(3) of the Bill, the Head of the Local Government Service will be appointing heads and staff of the District Education Unit as well as be responsible for promotion, transfer, discipline, and dismissal of the staff of the District Education Unit.

Under section 32(4) of the Bill, inter-district transfer of a headteacher or staff of a basic school can only be undertaken by the Head of the Local Government Service whilst section 25(2) and 26(2) of the Bill stipulated that the President of the Republic shall be appointing Regional Directors and their Deputies and determining their terms and conditions of service.

Also, according to section 30(1c) of the Bill, the preparation, administration, and control of budgetary allocations of the basic schools shall be determined by the District Assembly.

Parliament is currently considering three Bills on Pre-Tertiary Education (2019).

The Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) raised qualms about a provision in Section 59 of the Bill on tax exemption and indicated that the association would appreciate it if that clause was captured in a way that would make tax exemption mandatory instead of discretionary for whichever government was in power.

However, the Minority in Parliament also called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to withdraw the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill from the legislature to allow for a more thorough and broader national consultation on it.

The Minority claims there were legitimate and major concerns raised by stakeholders concerning the bill, hence, the need to withdraw it from Parliament and subject it to consultations and discussions by educationists, chiefs, opinion leaders, amongst other interest groups to address the concerns.

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