Private schools in Ghana have complained that the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), which is responsible for distributing the GHC1billion COVID-19 stimulus package instituted by the government of Ghana, to small businesses and enterprises, has not treated them well.
The National Communication Director of the Ghana Council for Private Schools, Mr. Samuel Nyamekye, told CTV’s Anopa Dwabre Mu host Kwame Appiah Kubi on Tuesday, 6 October 2020 that just a handful of the more than 22,000 members of the Council have benefitted from the stimulus package.
For the few beneficiaries, he said the amount given to them was paltry.
Some schools, he said, got as low as GHC2,000 and GHC3,000 although the applied for GHC150,000.
“So, we are asking ourselves whether it’s a loan or a grant”, Mr. Nyamekye said.
Due to the circumstances, the majority of the private schools, according to Mr. Nyamekye, have not opened despite the lifting of restrictions by President Nana Akufo-Addo to allow second-year junior and senior high school pupils and students to return to school from Monday, 5 October 2020.
Mr. Nyamakye expressed disappointment with the government over the matter, especially as, according to him, private schools contribute about 44 per cent to Ghana’s education sector development and 51 per cent in terms of infrastructure.
The decision for the return of the pupils and students from Monday was taken by the Ghana Education Service after consultations with the relevant stakeholders.
The students will remain in school until 14 December 2020.
Announcing this in his 16th COVID-19 address to the nation on Sunday, 30 August 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said: “With Junior High Schools operating with class sizes of thirty (30), and Senior High Schools with class sizes of twenty-five (25), SHS 2 and JHS 2 students will be in school for ten (10) weeks to study, and write their end of term examinations”.
“SHS 2 students in boarding houses are to return to their various dormitories on 5th October, while day students, respecting fully the COVID-19 protocols, will commute from home to their respective schools on the same date.”
Prior to today, all JHSs and SHSs have been fumigated and disinfected.
Just as was done in the case of final year university, JHS and SHS students, the government says all JHS 2 and SHS 2 students, as well as all teaching and non-teaching staff, will be given reusable face masks.
Each school will be provided with Veronica Buckets, gallons of liquid soap, rolls of tissue paper, thermometer guns, and 200 millilitre containers of sanitisers.
JHS 2 students will be given one hot meal a day.
Assemblies and sporting events remain banned, and the use by outsiders of school premises for other activities is still not allowed.
The schools were closed down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.