Angry parents of pupils of The Morning Star School in Accra Monday, descended on the school, requesting an immediate negotiation of fees for “online tuition services”, following demands for payment of “third term fees” by the school.
The school had served notices that fees should be paid by August 10, 2020, offering parents a flat discount of GH¢125.00 ahead of end of term examinations scheduled from August 17 to 21.
However the parents said they were unable to pay full fees (some nearly GH¢2,500) for the “online tuition services” and that they can support the programme with GH¢200 a month, with some describing the school’s discount offer as ‘too small’.
A petition presented to the school management, which was signed by the PTA Chairman and Secretary, Michael Mbroh and Bertha Appiah-Gyapong respectively, representing parents on the PTA, described the school’s demand as inconsiderate and that parents were not obliged or cannot be compelled to pay the fees.
The group also asked management of Morning Star School to desist from harassing and threatening parents in demanding the so-called third term fees, saying that no parent is obliged to let the ward write third term exams, since the Ghana Education Service has not declared a third term yet.
The aggrieved parents emphasized the importance of holding proper dialogue and deliberations in an atmosphere of mutual respect, and explained that as crucial stakeholders, parents must have a voice and must be heard in the bid to maintain a healthy relationship with the school authorities for the sake of the children.
The parents said they are demanding an emergency PTA meeting to resolve the current issues for their mutual benefit.
They are therefore proposing a meeting at the school or a virtual meeting on or before the week ending August 14, 2020.
What infuriated the parents was that, when the petition got to the school’s board of directors, the sent a reply saying they were not aware of any group called “Concerned Parents of Morning Star School” and that no such group had been inaugurated in the school so they cannot address the issues raised in the petition.
This was in spite of the fact that the petition was co-signed by the PTA Chair and Secretary, whom they knew very well and have had several meeting with prior to the petition.
Some parents said the school authorities have made it a practice to throw it in the face of parents that “Morning Star is a brand”, and so they have the penchant for holding entrenched position on issues any time they met with parents.
The parents said the arrogance of the school authorities have been tolerated for far too long and now they have had it to the brim.
Others explained that when schools went on break and other school started making concrete arrangements to get pupils busy, Morning Star authorities did nothing to help the pupils for a long time, until some individual teachers took the initiatives to start sending notes to the kids via WhatsApp.
“Even schools like Ridge Church School and Christ the King, who started proper online classes for the kids right from the word go, are giving parents 50% discount, but Morning Star alone insist on their insulting GHC125 discount even at a time when they had not put any formal arrangement in place for online classes,” a parent said.
Another parent added – “This is big shame – you would expect something like this from a school of the stature of Morning Star – this is really a big shame.”