The Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) has bemoaned the delay in the release of COVID-19 financial support packages from the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
GNACOPS says the loan disbursement process does not seem transparent and therefore wants the government to intervene.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, October 5, 2020, the National Executive Director for GNACOPS, Enoch Kwasi Gyetuah said many private schools across the country are yet to reopen school because there are no funds to support their work.
“Since March, all our schools have been closed down and we don’t have any means to generate revenue to make these statutory payments… We therefore call on the Ministry of Trade and Industry to impress upon the NBSSI to make sure that transparency prevails. As we speak now, the issue is very oblique. We have had a lot of discussions, phone calls, emails, WhatsApp messages to the doors of NBSSI and they have failed to respond to our call. We call on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education to look into the plight of private schools.”
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, a programme was instituted by the government to disburse support loans to businesses severely affected by COVID-19.
The stimulus packages were to help alleviate the plight of affected organizations.
GNACOPS had earlier kicked against plans by the NBSSI to pay stimulus packages directly to private school teachers.
According to the Council, that was not the original agreement when they applied for the COVID-19 soft loan.
In an interview with Citi News after presenting a petition to the President at the Jubilee House in September 2020, Head of Human Resources for GNACOPS, Prince Entsie said the loans should be given to the schools as originally scheduled.
He made the case that the loans are not intended for the sole purpose of paying teaching staff but also for maintenance and preparation towards the reopening of schools.
“When we gave them the update from NBSSI that they say the money now is going to be paid directly to the teachers, they said how can they say that because from the onset we haven’t had any discussion like that. It’s the school that is accessing this loan, not the teacher.”
“The money should be given to the schools so that they can equally give a share to the teachers to cater for themselves, and then they can also use part of the money to put things in order so that when schools reopen they will be in [good] shape,” he argued.