Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has advised the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to introduce a framework that would provide guidance on the level of involvement of Old Student Associations (OSAs) in the administration of their alma maters.
Over the years, Old Student Associations have supported their previous schools in various forms, such as building new or refurbishing old structures, donating vehicles as well as furniture.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Monday, June 8, Mr Asare commended the efforts of alumni associations. He however called for a limit to be placed on their level of involvement in the governance of schools, because some of them could become overbearing.
He cited as an example, how the Achimota Old Students Association spearheaded a campaign against the admission of the two Rastafarian students recently, adding that, “Old students may have an interest when it comes to admissions. They want to have some protocols.”
Discussions on the Show focused on calls by parents of SHS students to be allowed to contribute financially towards addressing challenges facing the implementation of the Free SHS policy.
The calls come against the backdrop that in 2019, the Ghana Education Service, suspended the payment of PTA levies under the Free SHS policy with the reason that it is a financial burden on parents. The ban has since been in force.
Mr. Asare said the reason why the old student associations tend to have more influence than the Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) in the governance of the schools is their immense contribution to the development of these schools.
“The difference between the PTAs and the Old students is that, because the old boys seem to contribute more in terms of cash, and infrastructural developments to the schools, they normally want to have a stake in the governance, determine who is headmaster and demand some protocols.”
Using his alma mater as an example, Mr Asare explained that if every year group contributes GH₵2,000, the school would receive more than enough money to run its affairs.
“Looking at the projects that we’ve been doing in that school, and the interest we have in teaching and learning and in supporting teaching and learning, infrastructural development, facilities, etc, I think we’re doing not just what PTAs were doing, we’re doing more than they were doing.”
He therefore urged government to give room to PTAs to make some monetary contributions for the smooth operation of senior high schools.