As Ghana’s independent low-fee private schools settle into the third term of the year and exams loom on the horizon, proprietors and teachers have the unprecedented task of trying to combat the challenges of learning loss, financial instability, and lack of staff. Following 10 months of school closures last year and the passionate efforts of school proprietors to safely open their doors, the focus is on bridging the learning gap. While these schools are battling to keep their classrooms open, as well as support their pupils in catching up by extending hours and term times, their resilience is self-determined with limited external support. Without formal state intervention, any future pandemic waves could close their doors for good, resulting in a spike of out-of-school children across Ghana.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the education sector around the world, and will continue to do so for some time to come. School closures alone are estimated by UNESCO (in 2020) to have affected over 1.1 billion students worldwide. While the pandemic has affected all corners of life across every community, education in the developing world has had its own unique set of challenges, from lack of access to remote learning channels to little financial support for independent low fee private schools (LFPS).
IDP Foundation recently partnered with external Ghanaian research group, Associates for Change (AfC), to conduct an Impact Assessment aimed at investigating the extent to which COVID-19 has affected the operations of Low Fee Private Schools (LFPS). IDP Foundation serves these schools through its keystone IDP Rising Schools Program.
Last month, IDPF and Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance came together again to support the Ashesi Innovation Experience (AIX), Ashesi University’s annual enrichment program for high school students.
Magdalene Sackey was in a bind. The proprietor of a low-fee private school in Ghana with ambitions to expand capacity, she had acquired land for a new campus in Mataheko, a town in greater metropolitan Accra.
Urgent relief grants have been disbursed to the most vulnerable schools in our IDP Rising Schools Program in Ghana. The school proprietors from our program are passionate education entrepreneurs who have devoted their time and resources to serving their communities. When their schools were forced to close for 10 months due to COVID-19, it was a significant blow.