Coalition fights DCE for charging pupils ¢4 each as sports and culture fees

File photo of some pupils studying under trees[/caption] A decision by the Upper West Akyem District Assembly in the Eastern Region to charge each basic school pupil 4 cedis as Sports and Culture fee is being questioned by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC). The District Assembly in a letter dated November 29, 2018 authorised the District Education Directorate of the Ghana Education Service to levy each pupil 4 cedis annually as sports and culture fee. The decision was taken at the Assembly’s meeting on October 29, 2018, the letter signed by Kenneth Osman, District Coordinating Director for the DCE, said. But the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition has described the levy as unconstitutional under the country’s free universal basic education as enshrined in the 1992 constitution. It is thus demanding an immediate refund to parents, any money received under these “illegal fees” as well as an order from the Ghana Education Service to all basic schools in Ghana not to pay any such fees. The Coalition also wants the Director General of the Ghana Education Service to investigate the role of the District Director of Education who happens to be a member of the District Education Oversight Committee (DEOC), the body that recommended the illegal fees. It condemned in no uncertain terms, the directive which it said also flies in the face of efforts to realize the global Sustainable Development Goal 4. GNECC explained that government introduced the Capitation Grant in 2005 to take care of such levies and fees in basic schools. Accordingly, it said “No child should therefore be burdened with any additional costs under the guise of sports and culture”. Meanwhile it wants the government to sanction the District Chief Executive of Upper West Akyem under whose authorization the letter granting the schools the green light to charge the 4 cedis was issued.

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