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Independent schools ask for COVID-19 relief funding as parents fail to pay fees

The National Alliance of Independent Schools Association (Naisa) said that many parents failed to pay school fees after losing their jobs while others had taken salary cuts during the lockdown.

Picture: 123rf.com

DURBAN - Independent schools have appealed to government for COVID-19 relief funding.

It’s estimated that there are over 400,000 pupils at about 2,000 independent schools in the country.

The National Alliance of Independent Schools Association (Naisa) said that many parents failed to pay school fees after losing their jobs while others had taken salary cuts during the lockdown.

The association said that as a result, schools had to retrench some staff members and dip into their reserves to pay for some of their expenses.

Naisa chairperson Mandla Mthembu said that the Basic Education Department has acknowledged receipt of a letter sent on Friday in which they appealed for financial relief during the lockdown.

“Government has been able to give of the relief fund to the taxi industry, small businesses and we’re also asking as the school sector for help.”

Mthembu said that independent schools had to implement tough measures to stay afloat.

“Some schools have had to retrench or cut down on salaries by up to 50%.”

Mthembu said that the sector was currently collating data on the effects of COVID-19 to independent schools but preliminary findings showed that about 80% of parents struggled to pay school fees.

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