Neogenics Education Group, an educational consultancy, has petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo to support the various private schools in the country with financial stimulus packages following the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
According to the group which works with over 500 private schools and 5,000 private school teachers in Ghana, measures taken by the President in the wake of the pandemic have dealt a great blow to their activities.
“Your Excellency, Neogenics Education which works with over 500 private schools and 5000 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.”
Following the lifting of the lockdown, the government emphasised that the ban on public gathering remains in force, including the shutdown of all educational institutions across the country.
In a petition to President Akufo-Addo, the group revealed that “80% of private school proprietors are unable to meet basic salaries of teachers and office staff (over 400,000).”
The statement further noted that parents are unwilling to pay outstanding fees from the previous term in 67% of private schools as 85% of these institutions acquire virtual learning platforms and resources to continue educating children through distance learning.
“Almost all Private schools are facing the challenge of retrieving arrears of fees from the previous term and payments due to this third term by parents. 67% of Schools revealed that parents are unwilling to pay outstanding fees from the previous term. 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.”
On the back of this, Lead Consultant at Neogenics Education, Grant Bulmuo in the statement, implored the government to provide “financial intervention/stimulus to support with the payment of salaries of private school teachers during this lockdown and one month after re-opening.”
The consult also wants a freeze on Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and Tax payments for “up to three months, after schools are re-opened.”
The group is also proposing that government absorbs all examination fees as a relief to ease the financial burden on parents for the rest of the academic year.
Neogenics Education fears that failure to intervene will mean over two million Ghanaian children will fall behind in their progress and will be at risk of receiving low-quality education with a great consequence on the quality of Ghana’s future human resource.