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ETHIIOPIAN HIGHLANDSThe Foundation? for? Youth, Peace? and Development (FYPD) wish to express disappointment about the emerging practice of using? public school lands for commercial ventures in the name of promoting Public Private Partnership in the education sector.

We have been following with much concern recent reports? in the mass media that portions of land belonging to a Public Basic School at Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East Municipality and a Cluster of Schools at Kotobabi, in the Accra Metropolis are been developed for commercial activities.

The FYPD finds attempts by the Awutu? Senya East Municipal Assembly to justify the said action on grounds of Public Private Partnership, highly untenable.

This is because we believe Public Private Partnership in the education sector means provision of education by private people and not the use of public school lands by private people for? trading activities, albeit, the intention is to raise funds to provide the schools in question with infrastructure.

We are also surprised about the explanation by the assembly,that shops built on the school?s land do not face the direction of classrooms and therefore trading activities at the shops will not interfere with academic of the school.The history of trading centres including; well planned ones like kaneshie and Makola market, shows clearly, the ease and swiftness with which activities at such places can degenerate into chaotic scenes and this is not going to be an exception.

Apart from the its adverse implications for academic work,one wonders what will happen when school children mix up with traders and all manner of people who visit the place under the pretext of shopping? in the course of play during break time,on their way to school in the morning, and as they leave for home? or ?wait for their guardians, after school.

We believe the emerging practice is not in the interest? of the children of Ghana and the Nation?s education as a whole.

It also undermines? our? effort? at achieving quality and universal? primary education for the children of Ghana.

We? therefore wish to call on the Ministry of Education to as a matter? of urgency, intervene in the situation and reverse the trend,in order to safeguard the interest of the Ghanaian child.

We? also wish to use this platform to? re-iterate the? point,that the best way of ensuring high sense of responsibility on the part of teachers in Public Basic schools is to? insist, that they send their children to public schools, instead of private schools as most of them do.

Indeed, a classical case of an unjust social order in contemporary Ghana is the total preference for private? educational services at the Basic level by the very people who are in charge of public education namely: policy makers, legislators,administrators and teachers among several others.

The practice constitutes an outright admission that the services provided by Public Basic schools is not good and we are likely to see worse situations in the years ahead if efforts are not made to tie the interest of the above mentioned people to educational service delivery in Public Basic Schools.And the FYPD believes, an effective means of doing this is to insist, that those in charge of Ghana?s education keep their children in Public Basic Schools.

Joseph M.Tetteh

Advocate of Youth Right and Peace & Founder, FYPD? e-mail:[email protected]

024-4571090

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