Private Schools Must Also Enjoy Free SHS � Group Demands And Threatens Court Action

A group calling itself the Coalition of Parents of Students in Private Institutions, (COPOSPI) is calling on all political parties who have promised free education to extend the policy to private institutions. According to the group, it would be unconstitutional if students from the private institutions are excluded from the programme. Addressing a press in Accra yesterday, the Executive Secretary of the Coalition, Dr. Simon Gbene, said, the group will soon head to the Supreme Court to seek the interpretation of Article 17 Claude 1:2 and Article 25 clause 1 b: c, which states that, �All persons shall be equal before the law� and that, �A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.� According to the group, Article 25 also states that, �All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities and with a view to achieving the full realization of that right respectively.� Mr. Gbene also pointed out that, basic education shall be free, compulsory and available to all according to the Constitution. Further quoting the Constitution, he said, �Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive instruction of free education.� The Coalition therefore asserted that, it is absolutely necessary to first ensure accessibility before thinking of free education where some people are unconstitutionally being discriminated against. Dr. Gbene indicated that, students in private institutions do not go there by choice, but rather are forced to go there because of lack of access into government facilities, adding that, research conducted by the Coalition indicates that, at the SHS level, the best schools are all owned by the government. According to the group, as part of measures to ensure that, students in private institutions� rights are not trampled upon, the Coalition is good to embark on a series of demonstrations throughout the country, to seek legal interpretation as well as plead for the interventions of all faith-based organisations.