The executive body of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School at Legon in Accra is appealing for assistance to enable it to complete its GH¢4.7 million stalled accommodation project in the school.
The project, known as the PTA House, started in 2010 as the contribution of parents to address the accommodation needs of the 2012/13 final year groups students. It was expected to be completed in 2013.
The project is expected to accommodate over 1,000 students when completed.
Why it stalled
The project which is about 50 per cent complete stalled because the contributions of parents were no longer forthcoming due to the introduction of the Free SHS policy.
The situation got worse with the directive by the Ghana Education Service (GES) that all schools should halt the collection of PTA dues.
During an interview after conducting the Daily Graphic round the project and many others the PTA and the Old Boys Association of the school had embarked on, the Chairman of the PTA, Rev. Dr Osei Amponsah, explained that the project had stalled because “we just do not have money any more with the introduction of the Free SHS.
Not many parents are motivated to contribute any longer. Additionally, with the directive by the GES that PTA dues should be suspended, parents are no longer willing to contribute,” he explained and added that formerly parents voluntarily contributed towards the project, especially at the beginning of every term.
Dr Amponsah said the directive by the GES was misunderstood by some parents that any money paid to support the government in the running of the school was illegal.
“Currently, we are at a stage where we urgently need to construct bathhouses on the second and third floors of the completed part of the project,” he stated, adding that the executive would do everything, including talking to the GETFund to secure funds to complete it.
Rev. Dr Amponsah hinted that the PTA would also seek permission to run part of the project as a hostel facility for parents whose children were day students and felt strongly that the distance was a hindrance to their performance.
He said he was of the conviction that if part of it was operated as a hostel, the “little maintenance fee they will pay can be used to take care of it.”
Rev. Dr Amponsah agreed with the directive of the GES on PTA levies, insisting that at PRESEC, every contribution of parents had been voluntary “and there is no reason for a school to prevent a student from learning because his or her parents do not pay PTA levy.”
He challenged any member of the PTA of PRESEC whose child was sacked because the parents did not pay PTA donation to own up “because ours is purely donation.
Parents see the projects and are motivated to give. So, I agree completely with the directive. We are not interested in supporting any management to collect money from parents illegally,” he added.
Listing the projects executed by the PTA, the chairman identified the stocking and recruitment of nurses for the school clinic and the engagement of 16 security personnel from a security company to beef up security on campus.
“Apart from that, in 2015 we bought a $68,000 KVA generator set fueled by the association to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the school, especially in the science laboratory.
“Also we have built and furnished a six-unit classroom block with an attached ICT lab and stocked it with computers. There is also a reverse osmosis plant for water treatment and a semi-detached staff bungalow and many others that we do not want them to collapse,” Dr Amponsah stated.
Role of parents
He added: “It is important that all parents see themselves as partners in the education of our children. This I know we are all aware of but I just want to remind us all. With the Free SHS, the numbers have increased and resources are stretched and this is the time parents must support the government to maintain the available resources or provide more to replace the broken-down ones,” he urged.