Is the government collapsing private schools? Since the closing down of schools because of COVID-19, private school teachers have feared their jobs were on the line and the private school owners felt their businesses will collapse. The reality is now clear as the latest decision dash their hopes of ever picking the pieces before the end of the year.
The school year for KG to SHS1 postponed to January 2021 is the decision that shuts the doors of recovery to normalcy for private schools and their teeming employees.
Why was the committee for reopening schools set up to advise the government on reopening formed in the first place? And why were they given up to 21st September to make their reports available when the leadership of the nation has taken its decision already? This decision was leader driven rather than followers (committee on reopening driven). This defeats the purpose of the committee.
Such a leadership style is rarely effective given the situation we found ourselves in. Such a decision taken at the blind side of followers and communicates to the team may have negative effects and reactions as it usually leaves no space for negotiation. Such a “leader control”-oriented leadership style must always be used carefully.
The hearts of private school teachers are broken. How would WASSCE, Diploma, Degree, and teachers with education degrees teaching in private schools survive these tough times? It is a pity they have gone 6 months without salaries.
All efforts by private school teachers, CSOs, and owners of such schools have yielded little or no results. Six months in the life of teachers (March-August) without the very little salaries they are paid has crippled many and turned them into unemployed graduates scavenging for menial jobs now. Ghana needed an out of the box idea to deal with school reopening, but we might have taken the right but an easy and unenterprising way out.
The KG to SHS1 postponed academic work until January 2021 is a bad decision and seems to suggest that the government does not care about private schools. 10 months without salary for Private school teachers is too harsh and may reflect in the voting decisions of private school teachers and owners in the 2020 general elections unless the government comes out with some form of support at the eleventh hour to redeem some lost image in the eyes of the private educational institutions in the country.
The GES in one of its communication asked even trained teachers to seek employment in private schools. But, the decisions of the government regarding reopening are going to collapse a lot of such schools and have already taken many teachers out of work already.
Reopening of schools next year is a bad decision for Ghana. There can be other better options such as considering double track (morning and afternoon) at the pre-tertiary level.
The reason is that aside from teachers being out of a job, students are exposed to more vices and pupils can no longer remember anything they have learned since (identifying numbers and letters become impossible for them).
Talking about an adjustment in the curriculum to help students cover-up doesn’t reflect a professional decision it may be but with an unnecessary load on the minds of the children.
Can you imagine putting together a child who has been learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and the one who never had such a privilege in the space of a year trying to teach the same item?
Whiles some stakeholders have attempted to blame private school owners for the pitiful plight of the pre-tertiary private school teacher, others seem to think the government must be held accountable for their woes.
I blame the school owners, not the government. Most of them don’t care about the welfare of their teachers, but theirs only. Poor salaries, no SSNIT, no tax payments, no insurance for them. They have been exposed big time, and it’s time they learn to restructure their structure. When they were collecting huge school fees but paying the teachers with small salaries were they blaming the government for that? – This is a comment captured from social media.
Was this latest decision on education an informed, scientific, realistic, and proactive one or government was looking at the financial burden of parents should schools reopen? There seem to be more questions arising from the decision to keep schools closed until January 2021.
Source: Wisdom Hammond | Leadership expert, Educationist and Freelancer
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