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30% placement in A-list SHSs for public school students affecting our enrollment – Private schools

The Director of St. Patrick D’Pious, Patrick Agblehor, has appealed to the government to relook at the current policy of reserving 30% of slots in ‘Category A’ Senior High Schools for only students from public Junior High Schools.

According to him, the policy has been negatively affecting enrollment in private Junior High Schools since its introduction.

“The governmental policy of giving attention to children from public schools is affecting us.” The parents now know; therefore when their children get to form one or two, they withdraw them from the private schools to the public ones so the government may think it is the public schools that are doing well but at the end of it, it is the private school students who go there to make the grades,” he explained

The appeal came during the 25th anniversary celebration of St. Patrick D’Pious Academy in Ashaiman.

The Free SHS Secretariat announced that the Free SHS policy, which aims to achieve equity, will reserve 30% of placement in Category A’ Senior High Schools for only students from public basic schools who did well during the BECE.

But the private schools have objected to the move. “If the child in a private school scores an aggregate 8 for example and a child in public school scores an aggregate 14, preference is given to the child with an aggregate 14 from the public school, and that is affecting our enrollment here,” said, Mr. Agblehor.

Meanwhile, private school teachers have attributed the proliferation of telenovelas in the Ghanaian media and the lack of parental control to poor academic performances among a majority of the pupils.

According to Patrick Agblehor, the proprietor of the St. Patrick D’Pious Academy in Ashaiman, the rapid growth of telenovelas is distracting pupils from taking their studies seriously.

On the sidelines of the school’s 25th anniversary celebration, Mr Agblehor revealed that their analysis of students’ performance shows that those who watch these contents on a regular basis perform worse.

“Nowadays, children always watch telenovelas, and when you give them homework, they don’t pay attention to do them. And for those parents who are not controlling their children, we found that it is affecting their performances in class as compared to those whose parents supervise their homework. We make follow-ups in their homes to find out why a child who has been performing well is declining all of a sudden, and we found out they’re exposed to telenovelas due to ineffective parental control,” he disclosed.

In addition to the time spent viewing telenovelas, the school proprietor stated that these children are exposed to immorality as the majority of them feature explicit content and romance. Mr Patrick Agblehor went on to say that it is completely inappropriate for parents to enjoy watching these contents with their children as opposed to watching them while their children read their books.

“We have to go back to our olden times. It looks like parents nowadays are too permissive as we permit our children to do whatever they like; let us control them, ” he emphasised.

Other teachers from different schools who graced the 25th Anniversary Celebration of St. Patrick D’Pious Academy corroborated his point, saying it is a general problem that needs to be addressed with urgency.

They have therefore called on parents and other stakeholders, including the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service, the Ministry of Communication, and the National Communication Authority, to pay proper attention to the rise of telenovelas as they pose a significant threat to the quality of education.

In a related development, the grand durbar for the 25th Anniversary Celebration took place on November 12, 2022, under the theme; “celebrating 25 years of excellence.” It was graced by dignitaries from the education directorate in the Ashaiman and Kpone Katamanso Municipalities, the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) and representation from traditional authorities.

The chairman of the occasion, Patrick Adjison, Assistant Headmaster, Administration of Sege Senior High School, urged all stakeholders to take a keen interest in providing quality education for children to “future-proof” them against any shock in the future, be it socio-economic or socio-political.”

By Sefakor Fekpe

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