IDP Foundation, an American private non-governmental organization (NGO) is urging the Ghanaian government to support low-fee private schools across the country to ensure quality education delivery.
According to the Foundation, patronage of low-fee private schools (LFPS) by low-income families who constitute 48 percent of the population, has been increasing over the years hence the need for a state-led intervention to boost education.
A study carried out by the group highlights that nearly one in three schools in Ghana are non-state or private, as about 37 percent of the children of school going age are in non-state schools.
Despite the growing population in the low-fee private schools across the country, such educational institutions are bedeviled with lack of government support and funding, lack of government follow-through on commitments, limited funding alternatives and high competition, as well as lower toilet per pupil ratio.
In a research in some low-fee private schools within 17 districts in the Northern Regions of Ghana, the American NGO recommends among others “the inclusion of non-state schools in government interventions, and the improvement to school safety and infrastructure.”
The rest are “access to teaching and learning materials, improving teacher training and ensuring teacher motivationas well as expansion of Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure.”
Established in 2008, the Innovate, Develop and see Progress (IDP) Foundation, is dedicated to encouraging and supporting development of innovative and sustainable solutions to complex global issues.
The group supports local and international partners in all forms of learning including from critical medical research to classroom education.
In Ghana, the IDP Foundation introduced its keystone initiative, the “IDP Rising Schools Program”, a groundbreaking education finance and training initiative created to empower existing low-fee private schools across the country.
The program was developed as an innovative and sustainable model for improving educational infrastructure in private schools serving low-income families.
Since its introduction some 13 years ago, the program has demonstrated that with adequate training, school owners can improve their management and efficiently use their newly found loans to sustain and improve their institutions.
During the 10-month closure of schools in Ghana due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation supported some 144 schools under the IDPF Rising School Program with 358,000 United States Dollars (USD) as part of the IDP Foundation’s COVID-19 relief support.
The Foundation, through its emergency grants, also supported some 41,000 children to return to their classrooms after schools were safely reopened in Ghana.