The National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (NCPTA) has called on its members to disregard any directive from the Ghana Education Service (GES) on operational guidelines it did not develop. It said the GES had no locus to regulate the operations of a private body not under its authority and jurisdiction. The GES/Ministry of Education must know that we are partners and collaborators, and not part of their regulatory agencies,” the General Secretary of the NCPTA, Raphael Kofi Gapson, indicated in a circular to members.
He later told the Daily Graphic yesterday (Tuesday) that the GES was yet to respond to its letter, asking it, among other things, to hold on with the guidelines for further deliberations. He said there were legal issues involving the matter, and so the association decided to write to the GES first, embark on an advocacy, and then reach out to it. Mr Gapson said if the GES did not respond, it would then pursue the matter further.
“They have not called us, they have not even acknowledged receipt of the letter, and so, as of now, we are still waiting,” he said, stressing that “this is an issue we would deal with appropriately.” The NCPTA General Secretary said the association had given the GES up to the end of this week, and that would inform its next action. “And so we are building our dossier,” he said.
The circular by the association said the association was autonomous and independent of the control and management of the GES and the Ministry of Education.
“We are a private organisation and a private corporate entity registered under the Office of the Registrar General with a Certificate of Registration and Incorporation under the Company Act in 2013.
“We have a constitution with laid down structures,” the circular said. It said nobody could change the name of the association to PA, and that it was illegal, unlawful and unethical. “Our name is our brand, our trademark and our identity. “We are over 70 years in operation,” it said.
The NCPTAs called on the GES to immediately reverse the name Parent Association (PA) imposed on the organisation to its original name, Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The council said the new name was not the least welcomed as the generality of its members viewed it as an imposition.
“Our attention has been drawn to your attached letter dated January 4, 2024 in addition to guidelines to Parent Associations. “The PTAs, therefore, seek immediate reversal of the imposed name,” a letter dated January 9, 2024, and signed by the National President of the NCPTAs, Christian Atsu Aikins, said.
The letter was addressed to the Director-General (DG) of the GES, Dr Eric Nkansah. The GES has received a copy of the letter, as checks by the Daily Graphic indicate. The letter followed the development of guidelines for students and the association under the new nomenclature, PAs.
The guidelines recognised that the Heads and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) had always collaborated in the past in the prioritisation of projects and activities for execution in schools.
It was, however, not until 2013 that school heads were made signatories to PTA accounts, following recommendations by the Auditor-General who deemed the PTA funds as public funds and
needed to be subjected to audit.
It said in the recent past, there had been some developments within the operations of PTAs, which thwarted the government’s efforts at ensuring universal access to education, specifically at the senior high school level.
In addition to some serious financial challenges in some schools, the GES said heads were directed by the Auditor-General and the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service to get involved in the management of the finances of PTAs to restore sanity.
But the National Council of PTAs said much as the content was generally welcomed, “we write to notify you about the intention to change our dear association’s name, from PTA to PA,” it said.
Furthermore, it said paragraph four and 17 of the guidelines stood in sharp contrast and in their view inconsistent with each other, adding that while guideline four “prescribes autonomy for the association, guideline 17 circumvents and gives it to the Director-General and school management via submission of copies of audited accounts and quarterly reports respectively for approvals”.
By: Emmanuel Bonney