Will private schools in Ghana offer discounts on term fees? With all schools closed and students at home, this question in the minds of parents needs to be answered by private schools at all levels. The Ghana National Council of Private Schools is yet to speak on this and the earlier they start thinking about this possibility the better for its members and all other stakeholders.
Parents and guardians will not be willing to make full payment for the term until schools provide some form of discounts on term fees. This means there must be some trade-offs between private schools and their stakeholders in the post COVID-19 era.
The headache of parents includes the tuition fees payment, how exams will be conducted and how the government is helping private schools during the current situation.
The big question is why should parents pay outstanding fees when students are learning from home?
Paying school fees also means that teachers will continue to be paid but schools are not in the position to offer the same service. The wages and salaries of teaching and none teaching staff from April forward hung in suspense with little or no hope since fees are tied up in arrears or have not been paid.
With the chief source of income of private schools hibernated by COVID-19, most private schools are left with no hope of being able to pay staff while they remain home. Parents are also thinking of discounts on term fees as well.
It’s however important for parents and guardians to know that offering reduced fees, or refunds is at the sole discretion of each school unless the government is ready to provide some stimulus package to private schools during this critical time.
Many private schools do not have the needed IT infrastructure to provide remote tuition and more homes do not have the internet to access online learning during this COVID-19 crisis.
Most schools have no systems in place to support students when they require assistance with their assigned learning tasks and a few schools have resorted to WhatsApp but this comes with its own disadvantages. Assignments cannot even be printed if given for many.
Because many private schools at the basic, secondary and tertiary levels are unable to leverage on IT to deliver tuition online, they would have to give up some percentage of their term fees.
Will private schools offer discounts on term fees?
Will the government stimulus injections to help the economy, give the same support to the private education sector? Will private schools in Ghana offer discounts on term fees? Time will tell.