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Following the National Teaching Council’s decision to stop private school teachers without a license from teaching, the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) has disclosed that at least a 400,000 private school teachers in the country will be jobless in September 2020 if the Education Ministry insists on mandatory licensing of private teachers.
According to the Executive Secretary of NTC, Christian Addai Poku, the Teaching Council will soon suspend private school teachers without professional teaching licenses from teaching.
Christian Addai Poku speaking in an interview said NTC is collaborating with proprietors of private schools on a roadmap to remove unqualified teachers on their payroll.
However, the GNACOPS has also cautioned that if the unreviewed policy is implemented it will increase the country’s unemployment rate.
“We all bear witness to the outstanding performance of private schools and their contribution to education in Ghana. We can state emphatically that even though about 80% of our teachers are unlicensed, we the private schools have performed exceptionally in the past years of our existence,” the council stated.
The Council said it had put together a scheme that would help maintain, train, license, and absorb the existing teachers into the profession equally, adding that the scheme is dubbed ‘The GNACOPS Volunteer Service Scheme.
The Executive Director of GNACOPS, Mr. Enoch Gyetuah speaking at a press conference to update the citizenry on the reopening of schools and the COVID-19 Alleviation Programme (CAP) for private schools, said GNACOPS has petitioned to the Government of Ghana (GoG) and Ministry of Education to work on developing and establishing a private Education Policy which will layout regulations and foster cooperation between the private schools and the sector ministry.
Efforts by GNACOPS
Mr. Enoch Gyetuah disclosed that there over 22,000 registered private schools in Ghana, which employ over 400,000 workers and advocate the mastering of quality-based education with emphasis on academic excellence, creative exposures, sporting disciplines, and religious and moral upbringing of students.
He added that unexpected closure of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted on the finance of private schools whose source of income is the payment of fees by parents and loans from the financial institutions.
The Executive Director said that GNACOPS met with the Finance Ministry after dealing with the MoE executives, where it was realized the council should collect one month’s payment voucher for all private school teachers across the country.
“Based on this, the council was able to collate details on about 96,000 teachers from 4300 schools interested in the grant which is being sought by the council as a relief for its members”. he added.
He furthered that the Council was then redirected to the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) for the inclusion of private schools in the CAP SUPPORT Programme, a relief fund introduced by the President for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises as “we await a response to the grant request.”
Mr. Enoch Gyetuah on behalf of the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) commended the central government for his effort in the fight against the novel virus and also putting measures in place to ensure that businesses were better placed in these hard times.
Mr. Enoch, said as, at June 30, 2020, all the 16 regional coordinators of the GNACOPS had confirmed that all private schools had received PPE as promised by the President
The Executive Director commenting on boarding house issues said “It has come to the notice of the council that some district directors of education in various districts are issuing some threat to ban some schools for boarding the final year’s students.
“The point we want to put out there is that all private schools who have received the endorsement of parents’ to keep their children, it is free to do so by observing and meeting all agreed safety protocols. On the other hand, schools with no boarding facilities should not adopt ad hoc measures to keep final year students.”