Vincent Ekow Assafuah, the Director of Communications of the Ministry of Education, has said it was needless for the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) to donate an amount of GHC50,000 to the COVID-19 Trust Fund when they are financially struggling.
The Ministry PRO, speaking on an Accra based FM station on Friday, May, 01, 2020, said the move was a misplaced priority, adding “that money could’ve been used to support individual member institutions in the private schools”
The PRO of the Ministry of Education stressed:”I think the leadership should rise to the occasion in these times to ensure that they fight for their members and not necessarily sitting on radio and crying for stimulus package”
On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the Private Schools Association made the donation at the Information Ministry’s press briefing.
The Association in a statement said the donation was in recognition and appreciation of the government’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
“The Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) hereby presents its widow’s contribution to the COVID-19 Fund in recognition and appreciation of the Government’s commendable efforts geared towards combating this pandemic. Admittedly, this amount is a drop in the vast ocean of resources that the Government needs to fight this virus.”
However, NAPS said it could have done better if all was well with its members.
“And if all was well with private schools, we could have done a lot better than donate this paltry amount. But all is not well with private schools,” it added.
It thus asked the government to extend portions of the interest-free loans to the private schools to help them keep their institution running and also be able to pay their staff.
“Government must consider extending some interest-free loans to private schools to pay their staff and keep the institutions running until schools reopen. The loans could be repaid over a period of time when schools reopen. We also welcome the government’s intervention to persuade SSNIT, GRA and banks to which private schools are indebted, to postpone repayment of these statutory obligations and debts until our businesses reopen. We believe this is not too much to ask of Government.”
Reacting to this, Assafuah revealed that the Association up till date has failed to submit any formal request to that effect, insisting it would be very difficult for the Ministry to assist in the absence of any documentation.
“How do you want Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Osei Adutwum to help you, when there has not been any document on his table but yet you go about, sit on the airwaves and beg for stimulus package? he queried.