According to data statistics by the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) 94,000 (Ninety–four thousand), private schools teachers have been sacked following the outbreak of the coronavirus which has forced the government to close down all schools across the country.
Checks by websaet.com indicate that the majority of these teachers who earn between 250 to 400 cedis monthly have not paid their salaries from march to date, in some cases others who receive 100 to 150 cedis a month were given half payment for March.
Private schools in Ghana contributes about 43 percent of the country’s education sector with over 400,000 personnel
Since the unexpected closure of schools on March 16, 94000 private school teachers from 4,300 schools from mostly Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi, and Eastern Regions have been sacked without their monthly salary been paid.
Some Kumasi-based private school teachers in an earlier interview told websaet.com life has become difficult for them as breadwinners. They said aside from teaching they do not have any other part-time job since more of their time is spent in classrooms.
According to them, they are excited about the likely reopening of schools soon, but they want it to be done gradually to avoid a more disastrous situation.
The Conference of Heads of Private Schools (CHOPSS) on the other hand is calling for a pilot approach program with the JHS and SHS final year students who are due to write their postponed exams.
According to the Heads of Private Schools, it will be disastrous to soon reopen schools at once.
Mr. Naphtali A. Kyei-Baffour, the public relations officer for CHOPSS has disclosed that they cannot assure that the sacked teachers would have their profession back.
‘‘It will be deadly to open all schools at once. We advise they start with the final year students. It should be a gradual systematic approach. Those who have lost their jobs have lost it and cannot be called back.
“In fact, more may lose their jobs especially the form 1 and 2 teachers. Those who still have their jobs will retain it but they are not likely to get a back pay of the previous months.’’
Aside the lack of funds to pay teachers, he spoke about the pressure from relevant authorities on the schools to honor their tax obligations.
“We are pleading with the relevant authorities to suspend the pressures for taxes till resumption of school activities,” he prayed.
Meanwhile, the Ghana national council of private schools is self-assured about the readiness of private schools to start operation when the ban is lifted.
The government is yet to support the private institutions in their condition in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Director of the council, Enoch Kwesi Gyetua said the council is awaiting a formal response from the finance ministry on how the private schools will be supported with the stimulus package.
The Deputy Minister for Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has said all private school owners can apply for the package.
According to him, he fears that the situation with private schools, if not taken care of may result in an increase in of unemployment rate in the country.
Some parents have also raised concerns about the re-opening of school anytime soon as the Ghana Education Service is in talks with stakeholders to see how best the school environment can be made safe for all when schools in due course re-open.