COVID-19 : 80% of private school proprietors can’t pay basic salaries of teachers and office staff

PETITION TO HIS EXCELLENCY, NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA FOR GOVERNMENT’S INTERVENTION IN SUPPORT OF GHANA PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Over 50% of private schools in Ghana are likely to fold as a result of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the 2018 World Bank report, Private Schools constitute over 30% of education provision at the Primary School level in Ghana.

Their contribution in Ghana cannot be overstated. Evidence from Ghana’s Educational Sector Performance Report (2017) gives an indication of how important private sector education is to this country.

According to the report, Private Education contributed to the increase in enrolment at the primary from 4.1 million in 2011/12 to 4.4 million in 2017/18. One can arguably state that Private schools in Ghana contribute to over 60% of quality education delivery at the Pre-SHS level.

In spite of their immense contribution to the total Ghana education provision, a “vast majority” of private schools do not have “huge reserves” to contain unexpected contingencies like COVID-19 and the government closures of schools.

This was confirmed in our recent survey carried out. 100% of school proprietors who completed the survey stated that they will require some form of assistance or support to keep up with payment of teachers, loans and delivering of online lessons during this school closure directed by Government.

Your Excellency, Neogenics Education, which works with over 500 private schools and 5,000 private school teachers in Ghana, will like to submit this petition to your office to urge you to consider an economic and financial stimulus or intervention for private sector basic and secondary schools in Ghana amidst the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic for the following reasons;

(1). 80% of private school proprietors are unable to meet basic salaries of teachers and office staff (over 400,000).

(2). Almost all Private schools are facing the challenge of retrieving arrears of fees from the previous term and payments due this third term by parents. 67% of Schools revealed that parents are unwilling to pay outstanding fees from the previous term.

(3). As a result of lockdown and school closures, many private schools (85% of Private Schools) have had to acquire virtual learning platforms and resources in order to continue educating the Ghanaian child through distance learning.

(4). Fresh produce purchased prior to school closures have all been left to rot.

(5). Continuous maintenance and servicing of existing credit facilities and other recurrent operational costs – (50% claim they are unable to keep up with payments).

What we request from Government;

  1. Financial intervention/stimulus to support the payment of salaries of private school teachers during this lockdown and one month after re-opening.
  2. Freeze SSNIT & TAX payments up to three months after schools are re-opened
  3. Authorise banks/creditors to grant stressed-schools payment holidays on loans and credit facilities up to three months after schools are re-opened
  4. Absorb all examination fees as a relief to ease the financial burden on parents for the rest of this academic year. Neogenics Education believes this to a very large extent will show that the Ghana government recognises the enormous contribution made by private providers in education, from Pre-school to the Senior High School level.

Failure to intervene will mean over 2 million Ghanaian children will fall behind in their progress and will be at risk of receiving low-quality education provision with a great consequence on the quality of Ghana’s future human resource. We count on your usual cooperation and most honourable response.

Yours sincerely,

Grant Bulmuo (Lead Consultant, Neogenics Education / GLOSSNET)

Source : Tvnewsgh.com

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