The Inspector-General of Schools, Dr Haggar Hilda Ampadu, told the Daily Graphic that from January 2024, NaSIA would start enforcing the law to compel all operators to comply with the licensing requirement.
She explained that “the law has been in place for the last three years, and we have done stakeholder engagements, we have done jingles on radio and TV stations, we have done billboards.
We have done everything that we are supposed to do to advertise the law.
So, if you are a school operator who is currently out of compliance with the law, then it means you just don’t want to comply,” she said.
In August 2020, the New Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 (Act 1023) was enacted into law, granting NaSIA the mandate to regulate schools under the pre-tertiary space.
Since its enactment, the law granted all already existing and newly established private schools six months from the day of enactment to familiarise themselves with the law and get licensed.
Dr Ampadu was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra on the activities of NaSIA, three years since it was handed the responsibility of regulating the pre-tertiary education space.
The Fees and Charges Act says that every level of pre-tertiary private school running the Ghana Education Service (GES)/NaCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment) curriculum will pay GH¢300 per level as licensing fee.
That means a typical private school that consists of kindergarten, primary, junior and senior high school will pay GH¢1,200 annually.
However, for a typical international private school that runs the Cambridge or other international curriculum, the annual fee for licensing starts from GH¢3,000.
Under the Fees and Charges Act 2022 (Act 1080), the law prescribes a penalty of 10 times the cost of the licensing fee in addition to a flat penalty of GH¢6,900 for non-compliance.
“I think that is exorbitant, and I don’t think anybody will want to suffer that,” Dr Ampadu said.
She said the time to give grace period was over.
“Everybody has to acquire a licence now in order to operate a private school because the law has come to stay”, she stated.
“Alternatively, the law empowers us to take a non-compliant operator to court or even close down a school in extreme circumstances,” she added.
Dr Ampadu said NaSIA’s vision “is to ensure that we cover all schools in the pre-tertiary level all over the country.
“So, my inspectors are on the field every day collecting data, and I wish to advise operators of private schools to cooperate with them,” she added.
She urged private schools to open their premises to the inspectors, adding that there was a penalty for “denying a government official access to your school”.
“It means you are not complying with the law because the law says we should come to your school at anytime to see what you are doing there,” Dr Ampadu stated.