The Association of International Certification schools (ASICS) has called for a change in the leadership of the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA).
The Association led by Mrs Florence Adjepong, the President of ASICS, said the Authority needed a head, who had deep knowledge and understanding of the education sector and its value for national development.
Mrs Adjepong made the call at a press conference to respond to a press release issued by NaSIA titled “NaSIA, Private Schools must dialogue”. The press conference was to also set the records straight concerning the relationship between NaSIA and ASICS.
The President of the Association said currently, the relationship between the two institutions was an antagonistic one.
“We need a seasoned educationist, who know the value of education to lead the Authority,” she said.
She said ASICS has a membership of 42 Schools all of which offer international examinations including Cambridge Assessment International Examinations and the International baccalaureate.
The President said it was critical to note that many of them also offered the Ghana Education Service Approved Curricula, BECE and WASSCE.
She said the recent press statement from NaSIA gave the impression that private schools and ASICS in particular, had not tried to collaborate or dialogue with NaSIA.
She said since June 2, 2020, there have been a total of eight engagements and some of these meetings left them confident that something would be done, and that their concerns would be dealt with.
Mrs Adjepong said, however, understandings and agreements reached in the meetings were not followed through.
She said if there was an impasse between ASICS and NaSlA, it was not due to a lack of dialogue.
“It is primarily due to NaSIA’s inability or reluctance to answer very small questions,” she added.
The President questioned how a school that was paying GHC200 under the Ghana Education Service regime was now required to pay GHC10,000 and above with no explanation as to the validity and necessity of a 1000 per cent jump in fees?
She said as institutions that employ thousands of Ghanaians in the education sector and thereby contributes to nation building seems to be misunderstood.
Dr John Kpikpi, the Vice-President of ASICS, said prior to the most recent release, information posted by NaSIA in the Daily Graphic and on social media platforms on October 12, 2021, portrayed their schools in the harshest of light.
He said the press release could only be described as a ruthless and vicious attack on private schools in Ghana.
He said the publication was offensive because it brought untold problems for school owners who had spent decades building brand names and now had to execute damage control as they fought to protect the reputation of their schools and fend off parents who believed the falsehoods.
The Vice-President said in the last 18 months ASICS members have been subjected to harassment and intimidation for the purpose of collecting unauthorised fees.
Dr Kpikpi said on February 12, 2021, NaSIA sent a letter to all banks “entreating them not to transact business with any school, unless they could provide evidence in the form of a Certificate of License.
“Many banks ignored the letter while others complied. This extreme and illegal action by NaSIA caused serious financial problems for some schools,” he said.
He said NaSIA tried to Interfere with International Examinations by contacting the examination Boards and attempting to prevent students, whose schools had not paid the unresolved registration fees, from sitting the examination, even though parents had already paid the examination fees, and schools had completed registration of candidates.
“NaSIA wrote to International regulatory bodies and giving the impression that our member schools are not licensed and are operating illegally,” he added.
He said NaSIA consistently sent officials to school premises, sometimes without ID, to harass managers and staff for money which was often collected through unorthodox means like personal mobile money accounts.
The Vice-President said the members were not averse to paying fees, what they wanted was a clear and trustworthy communication about the role of NASIA, its process for assigning fees, fairness across board for small schools, large schools, one curriculum schools and multi-curricula schools.
“We want competent individuals to interact with in all government institutions in order to put a stop to the arbitrariness and inconsistencies that have plagued our member schools as we undertake the most important work any nation can do; which is to educate its children for a prosperous future,” he said.