The Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) has lamented the delay in the release of the COVID-19 stimulus package from the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Monday, October 5, 2020, the Council indicated that most private schools across are yet to reopen due to unavailability of funds to facilitate their activities.
National Executive Director for GNACOPS, Enoch Kwasi Gyetuah called on the government to intervene in the loan disbursement process, which he said was not transparent.
He added that the Council needs an amount of GHS 400,000.00 to facilitate payment of teachers and other staff.
“Since March, all our schools have been closed down and we don’t have any means to generate revenue to make these statutory payments…we therefore call on the Ministry of Trade and Industry to impress upon the NBSSI to make sure that transparency prevails.
“As we speak now, the issue is very oblique. We have had a lot of discussions, phone calls, emails, WhatsApp messages to the doors of NBSSI and they have failed to respond to our call. We call on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education to look into the plight of private schools,” he appealed.
Researcher for the Communication Committee of the council, Moses Braimah, mentioned that the Council has encountered several challenges in its quest to secure the stimulus packages.
According to him, “NBSSI assured the Council of informing each member that NBSSI is claiming 3% from the Council on the amount of loan to be disbursed,” however, “I want to state emphatically that this is not true.”
The Government of Ghana instituted a programme to disburse COVID-19 support loans to businesses affected by the pandemic to help alleviate plights of the affected organizations.
GNACOPS earlier kicked against plans by the NBSSI to pay stimulus packages directly to private school teachers.
According to the Council, that was not the original agreement when they applied for the COVID-19 soft loan.
Speaking to the media after presenting a petition to the President at the Jubilee House in September 2020, Head of Human Resources for GNACOPS, Prince Entsie said the loans should be given to the schools as originally scheduled.
“When we gave them the update from NBSSI that they say the money now is going to be paid directly to the teachers, they said how can they say that because from the onset we haven’t had any discussion like that. It’s the school that is accessing this loan, not the teacher,” he said.
Story by: Eunice Young | universnewsroom.com