Some parents whose wards are in private basic schools within the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Area are complaining of the high cost of educational materials and school fees. They also complained about the annual ritual of buying textbooks which in times past was not the situation in schools in the country. In times past, senior children could hand over their textbooks to junior ones for studies but currently, every year, parents had to invest huge sums of monies in new textbooks because a publisher may have added or modify a textbook. Mr Philip Baidoo, a private teacher with four kids lamented how his monthly salary of less than GHS1300 was not able to meet the books and school fees project every term, and year. He said, ‘It is not easy for some of us …the books are expensive likewise fees… I am getting a loan of over GHS4000, and this means additional stress in the home throughout period.’ Mr Baidoo wished that children would be allowed by school authorities to use the books of their siblings who are their predecessors to curtail the annual and termly huge financial burden associated with accessing education in private schools. Madam Efua Tawiah, a parent said: ‘We know private schools owners need to make profit, but school fees and books are killing parents gradually…How I wish the government could come in and set boundaries to regulate their activities.’ Mr Kofi Essien, a carpenter pointed at his three-year-old boy and said: ‘How can I buy books to the tune of GHS300 Cedis for this child and pay 700 school fees from my meagre stipends? ‘In fact, we want quality education, but the cost is becoming too expensive by the day, and I wish that the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, and Non-Government Organisations in Education would begin advocacy in this regard to control cost of books and fees, he added. Ms Mabel Anokye, a social worker, was worried that she had to raise close to 5000 cedis as a single parent to meet the books and fees needs of four children in the term. ‘I really want to tell the publishers or whoever is concern that books for learning must promote continuity…we can’t be throwing away thousands of cedis every year just because of small small addition to textbooks,’ she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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