Ninety–four thousand teachers in private schools have been laid off in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, according to data provided by the Ghana National Council of Private Schools.
Most of these teachers who earn between 250 to 400 cedis a month have also not been paid salaries from March till date.
Private schools contribute about 43 percent of the country’s education sector with over 400,000 workforce.
Since the closure of schools in March, 94,000 teachers from 4,300 schools from mostly Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern Regions have been laid off without their monthly salary.
Some of these teachers say life has become difficult for them as bread winners.
Though the teachers are enthused about the likely resumption of academic activities soon, they want it to be done gradually to avoid a more disastrous situation.
The Conference of Heads of Private Schools (CHOPSS) is calling for a pilot approach program with the final year students who are due to write their exams.
According to them, it will be deadly to open schools at once.
The public relations officer for CHOPSS, Kyei-Baffour Naphtali has revealed that they cannot guarantee the laid off teachers would have their jobs back.
‘‘It will be suicidal to open all schools at once. We advise they start with the final year students. It should be a gradual systematic approach. Those who have lost their jobs have lost it and cannot be called back.
“In fact, more may lose their jobs especially the form 1 and 2 teachers. Those who still have their jobs will retain it but they are not likely to get a back pay of the months past.’’
Aside the lack of funds to pay teachers, he spoke about the pressure from relevant authorities on the schools to honor their tax obligations.
“We are pleading with the relevant authorities to suspend the pressures for taxes till resumption of school activities,” he prayed.
Meanwhile, the Ghana national council of private schools is confident about the readiness of private schools to start operation when the restriction is lifted.
But worried government is yet to support the private institutions in their plight in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Executive Director of the council, Enoch kwesi Gyetua said the council is awaiting an official response from the finance ministry on how the private schools will be supported with the stimulus package or a grant.
He fears the situation with the private schools if not checked may contribute to the unemployment rate in the country.
Some parents have also expressed mixed reactions on the re-opening of school anytime soon as consultations are ongoing to seek inputs from stakeholders on how best the school environment can be made safe for all when schools eventually re-open.
By Sarah Apenkroh Parku | 3news.com