The Ghana Education Service (GES) has developed the first-ever Guidelines for the Operation of Parent Associations (PAs), formerly known as Parent-Teacher Association (PTAs), in pre-tertiary schools in the country.
Among other things, it said no student should be held responsible for the actions and inaction of any member of the PA or the PA as a body.
The implication, it said was that no student should be linked to the activities of the PA either through the school or his/her parent/guardian.“By extension, no student/learner, in both basic and second cycle schools, shall be held responsible for non-payment of any PA-related dues and other contribution by students.
“They shall therefore not be prevented from attending or participating in any school-based activities,” it said.
The guidelines document recognises the PAs as a useful platform for parents/guardians to collaborate with management of the various educational institutions for the primary purpose of supporting enhanced education and growth of schools.
Under the guidelines, management of the service acknowledged and appreciated the significant contributions of PAs overtime in areas such as the provision of infrastructure, supply of furniture, provision of teaching and learning materials, supply of vehicles and provision of water and sanitation systems.
The others, it said were maintenance of school facilities, motivation of staff, school beautification and environmental cleanliness, among others.
The heads of PTAs had always collaborated in the past in the prioritisation of projects and activities for executive in schools.
The guidelines said the PA should elect its own executive officers independent of the school management and should operate purely as an association opened to all parents/guardians whose wards were in the school without any interference from the school management.
They said no member should use the constitutional mandate (tenure of office) of an executive position to remain on the PA when the child/ward of that member ceased to be a student/pupil of the school and that “Executive Members without children or wards in their respective schools must be relieved of their positions”.
In addition, the document said the school should not be responsible for the activities of any staff who, by virtue of being a parent, became a member of the association or an executive member and that such a member or executive member should not use his/her official relation with the school to engage in any activity on behalf of the PA.
That, however, it said did not preclude the school authorities from providing any administrative support the association might require in promoting the interest of the school.
The PAs, it said could undertake projects to support the development and growth of the schools to which they were related.
On handing over of such projects to the school, it said management of the school should have full authority over such projects without interference from PAs as to how those projects should be managed and administered.
The PA might undertake income generating projects, but not on the premises of the school,” it said.