Private schools vet applications for stimulus package

Mr Enoch Gyetuah — Executive Director of the Ghana National Council of Private Schools

The Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) has begun vetting and processing the documentation of its members to enable them to apply for the GH¢600 million stimulus package announced by the President.

The documentation include registration, payment of taxes and certificates.

The Executive Secretary of GNACOPS, Mr Enoch Gyetuah, told the Daily Graphic that the association was acting as a facilitator for its members to access the money to pay the salaries, among other things, of 94,078 teaching and non-teaching staff.

He explained that the council was seeking financial bailout packages from the government to pay workers in the private schools following the indefinite closure of schools.

The teaching and non-teaching staff are from more than 4,306 private schools across the country.

CAP Scheme

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Tuesday launched a GH¢1 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) Business Support Scheme to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) impacted negatively by the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme is being administered by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), and beneficiaries have a one-year moratorium and two years to pay the loans.

Out of the amount, GH¢600 million is coming from government coffers while commercial banks in the country also put together GH¢400 million.

The application process started on May 20, 2020 and ends on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

Credibility

Mr Gyetuah said although the GNACOPS had officially submitted details of 94,078 workers of private schools to the Ministry of Finance for the financial bailout package to pay workers, it was cross-checking the details of the workers again before applying for the stimulus package.

He said in vouching for members, the council needed to be sure that documents presented were credible.

Background

Universities and first and second cycle schools have been closed since March 16, 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

In a broadcast to the nation on March 15, President Akufo-Addo directed universities, senior high schools and basic schools — public and private schools — to be closed effective Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.

Private schools, like other organisations, have been hit by the closure of schools due to the coronavirus, with operators said to be unable to pay teachers and other staff.

Some of the private schools have, therefore, begun running virtual classes for pupils and students, and have asked parents to pay fees for the third term since the second term academic programme ended before Easter in April.

A number of schools have written to parents informing them of the fact that the third term would resume as soon as the restrictions on social gathering were lifted.

Some parents have, however, described the request by the schools as illegal because they were being asked to pay for services the school had not rendered.

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