Mr Joel Nettey, President of the Advertising Association of Ghana, has called on the Ghana Education Service to grant autonomy to some selected schools, as part of efforts to improve the overall quality of education.
Such autonomous schools woudl be allowed to charge their own fees, and to pay competitive remuneration to staff, provide adequate and modern infrastructure, to ensure that fee-paying students got the best of education comparable to peers in Africa and most of the developed world.
Addressing the 87th Speech and Prize-Giving day of Achimota School, Mr Nettey called on the President John Mahama, the GES and Ghanaians to help take proactive steps in ensuring high standard of education in the country.
?Let it not be said that it was in our time as leaders of this country (in whatever form) that our educational system collapsed,? he said.
Mr Nettey said permitting autonomy in select schools would have the overall impact of enhancing the quality of education in all Senior High Schools across the country.
In granting autonomy, he said, consideration should be given to selected schools with the capacity to meet set criteria to manage themselves, and ensure that there were at least a couple of such schools in each of the 10 regions.
In addition, the government and the citizens could have shares in the autonomous schools in a Public-Private-Partnership arrangement.
Mr Nettey said to ensure that improved quality of education in the autonomous schools did not become the preserve of few privileged people in society; a 20 per cent quota should be reserved in each of the schools for brilliant and needy children across every district and village who would otherwise not be able to afford these schools.
He said businesses would be encouraged to set up educational funds or trusts, to support brilliant but needy children, while the GES used the money it saved from not funding the autonomous schools to support the other schools so that the net effect would be an improvement in the quality of education across schools in the country.
Mr Nettey debunked fears that the autonomous schools system would introduce a class society, and called for a non-partisan, non-religious, non-class, non-tribal dialogue with a single focus to improve the educational system.
Mrs Beatrice Adom, Headmistress of Achimota School, said the student population had outgrown the school?s infrastructural facilities and therefore called on government, philanthropists and stakeholders in education to help expand facilities.
She appealed to the Ministry of Education and the GES, to help the school to provide furniture to create a conducive teaching and learning environment for about the 1,000 students admitted to form one.
The speech and prize-giving day was held on the theme: “Educating The Child-The 360 Degree Way.”