Schools for Sale…?

I am skeptical of privatization.

I think it’s lazy of government to sell off their duties to the highest bidder.

History has shown that when we privatize our social services, the poorest and marginalized always suffer.

Greed.

That trait that bonds us all as humans weighs weighs us down and empowers us at once, will undoubtedly rear it’s ugly head and make it’s home in the hearts of those corporations managing the social services. Before long services are dwindled down to statistical data and P&L charts. Before long… people become numbers and numbers become negligible and death no longer has a human face— so its acceptable.

Plus there was that whole structural adjustment period in the 90’s that simply robbed us blind.

We are still paying.

RIP to our economies.

But it’s time.

It’s time for us to sell our schools.

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Please. Can someone explain to me why we are building more high schools when 44% of our students at P3 can’t read english or local language text?! This is what happens when th epolitical machine overrides the policy needs of a nation… le sigh.

… Or maybe just rent them.

It’s time for the government to give up trying to manage the school system.

They suck er… are slightly handicapped when it comes to managing systems and the school system is no different. With a limited budget that pays only for salaries and an agenda set by an executive that has no knowledge or insight into the educational sector— there really isn’t much room for anything but failure. And yet we see that private schools— with untrained, high school graduates teaching for one third of the pay of our public school teachers– are yielding NEA results that are 22% higher than their public school counterparts. So the obvious conclusion is fire all the teachers and put in untrained high school graduates at a fraction of the cost while exercising your right to fire them privatization.

What does it mean to sell the schools and how exactly would we benefit?

Wouldn’t it just price out the poor?

It doesn’t seem fair!

It’s not. But it’s more fair than the current system.

In the privatized version of things here is how it would go:

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Kids receive subsidized vouchers from the government at the amount it currently costs to teach children. Parents can then top up on these vouchers to send their kids to whichever neighborhood schools they want. Schools are owned by individuals, organizations, NGO’s… whoever… and they make money based on the number of vouchers— err, I mean, kids that come to the school. Yes… it could be that the Lebanese come… open schools… brain wash us and make us turn on our Ghanaian national heritage and then cause major chaos— it could also just be good Ghanaian doctors and lawyers with a vested interest in the future of this nation. But it could be anyone… anyone.

Simple.

And this is where you go on about how some mothers can’t top up to send their kids to the best schools… and oh what about the poor… and oh people will take advantage… and what about standardization…and blah blah blah…

The market will correct itself… or something*.

*NOTE: The market can not correct whatever cultural and social disruptions may arise.

These are the kinds of DESPERATE thoughts that arise after working within the system.

Somehow it becomes easier to re-imagine life in the absence of government.

But then… who will protect the weak… the poor… the vulnerable?

No but I am serious… I know the idea that the government in Ghana will do this is laughable but it’s supposed to be the point.

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So on the one hand, we could give parents vouchers and give them a choice which would force schools to get creative about attracting students and thereby create a more efficient system that only reaches the top 50% of society… or we could keep plowing away at the government and the unions hoping they will change for the better… waiting for our da bi da bi…

Which would you rather?

#MNFTF

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