‘Come to the aid of private schools’ is the plea from all private schools. The Proprietor of Royal Beam Preparatory School at Kasoa in the Central Region, Mr Nicholas Issah Wassan, has called on the government to come to the aid of private schools with some financial support to enable them to pay their teachers.
That, he said, was because private schools had been hit severely by the coronavirus as the closure of schools had made it difficult for them to pay teachers and other staff members.
“We, owners of private schools, have been vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 than any other private institution in the country.
We pay our workers from the daily feeding and school fees that we receive from parents for their children’s feeding and tuition respectively,” Mr Wassan said.
“Since the introduction of physical distance in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, schools were asked to at once stop every school activity.
It came impromptu to every school owner,” he said in an appeal to President Nana Akufo-Addo
Mostly, Mr Wassan said, the resources of private schools went into developmental projects and that they hardly saved money.
“So since this pandemic has been the first of its kind in our generation, it has affected our lives negatively.
The means of surviving hunger is nowhere available to us and our families, let alone pay our teachers monthly salaries.
For the past two months, (March and April) we have not been able to pay our teachers.
“We are hungry and the pressure from our teachers has compounded our situation.
There has been no support from anywhere to any of us as private school owners and our teachers,” he said.
In Europe, the proprietor said, where schools could have applied for some support, the virus situation in that part of the world had made things difficult for countries as it had crippled their economies.
“Individuals, associations and coalitions have petitioned the government to come to the aid of private schools but we have since heard nothing.
“I want to reiterate that the job of educating Ghanaian children is the sole responsibility of the Ghana government but due to lack of infrastructural facilities, private individuals are allowed to establish schools to support the government to execute this all-important national assignment,” he said.
Mr Wassan, therefore, called on President Akufo-Addo to support private schools through the district and municipal education directorates nationwide to ensure that private schools in the country got support to enable them to keep their schools running.
“I have learned a lot from this pandemic and if we survive it I will make sure as an institution, we always have three or more months’ salaries of the workers kept untouched.
“I will make the washing of hands with soap under running water a culture in our school. Greeting in the palm is not a hygienic practice.
The sitting distance in my classrooms will be checked and increased.
I suggest that a subject on hygiene should be added to what we have now,” he said.