For the past few days, there has been loads of deliberations on a possible re-opening of schools after they were shutdown by a directive of the president following the outbreak of the novel covid-19. Invariably, this situation has negatively affected the educational system of our country with its long term effect if appropriate interventions are not found to mitigate its impact.
The minister of health is on record to have said that covid-19 will be with us for a long while and therefore we must learn to live with it. This requires that there should be adjustment with the way we do things and live as a people so as to accommodate the sickness and stay safe.
The consideration of easing restriction is not only peculiar to Ghana but all over the world governments are exploring avenues by which life can return to normalcy. For example China after protracted period of dealing with the pandemic has eased restrictions and has opened schools which were closed down some months ago with robust measures to contain the spread of the disease. Likewise the German Bundesliga has also resumed. It is equally in line with global considerations that the Ghana education service together with the ministry of education is devising ways by which can operate again.
Unfortunately as a developing country already faced with limited resources, our situation is very challenging.
Following the announcement by GES, all educational teachers’ unions, parents as well as the media have expressed dissatisfaction and registered their displeasure toward this move by GES. As though to think that the reaction of these major stakeholders of education is premature, their concerns cannot and should not be taken lightly as any rush in re-opening schools without ensuring thorough and pragmatic approach to secure the safety and health of our students will have dire consequences of our country and our collective fight against the pandemic.
At the time schools were closed down following the announcement by the president of the republic on March 16, the country had recorded fewer cases. Currently, Ghana has recorded over 27,000 cases with over 150 deaths and over 25,000 recoveries. It is therefore in perspective for anyone to question the logical underpinnings for re-opening schools especially when the situation of the pandemic has taken a horizontal surge.
Parents who have their wards in the senior high schools are currently calling on the government to send their children home following reports of some final year students who reported at school to prepare for their final papers tested positive for covid 19.
This is a wake up call to all stakeholders to who are calling on government to re-open all schools to reconsider their call and must come again.
By: Godwin Owusu Frimpong=Kumasi