Neogenics Education Group, an International Educational Consultancy firm in Ghana, has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to roll out financial stimulus package for private schools in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Group believes the support would show that government recognized the contribution made by private providers in education from Pre-school to the Senior High School (SHS) levels.
Mr. Grant Bulmuo, Lead Consultant of the Group told the Ghana News Agency that failure on the part of government to intervene would mean that over two million Ghanaian children would fall behind in their education.
This, he said would be at the risk of receiving low quality education with great consequence on the quality of the country’s future human resource.
He estimated that over 50 percent of private schools in Ghana were likely to fold up as a result of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
A 2018 World Bank report shows that private schools constitute over 30 per cent of education provision at the primary school level and their contribution could not be overstated.
Mr. Bulmuo also quoted Ghana’s Educational Sector Performance Report in 2017 that gives an indication of how important the private sector education is contributing to increase in enrolment at the primary level from 4.1 million in 2011/12 to 4.4 million in 2017/18.
According to him, a recent survey they carried out revealed that in spite of the immense contribution of private schools to the provision of education, “vast majority” of them did not have “huge reserves” to contain unexpected contingencies like COVID-19.
He urged the government to consider an economic and financial stimulus or intervention for private sector basic and secondary schools amidst the pandemic.
He said as a result of the lockdown and school closures, some schools have to acquire virtual learning platforms and resources in order to continue educating students through distance learning.
Mr Bulmuo called on government to provide financial intervention or stimulus to support with the payment of salaries of private school teachers during this period and also a freeze on SSNIT and other tax payments for up to three months when schools re-open.