The CSOs Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has raised concerns over a letter circulating on social media, written by the Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, calling for inputs from educational stakeholders over the reopening of schools in the country.

In a statement issued by the Communication Directorate of the Platform, they stated, ‘We consider the exponential increase in [Covid-19] cases to at least serve as evidence to discourage any government official or agency [from making] proposals towards reopening…schools in Ghana. Also, it is becoming increasingly difficult to understand why GES is in a haste to reopen schools at a time [when] Ghana Health Service (GHS) is announcing very high numbers of [Covid-19] cases in the country as a result of community spread’.

‘The frustrations and anxiety of most parents, guardians, teachers, students, and education advocates on the possible spread of the dreaded virus when schools are reopened cannot be downplayed. Of much concern is the huge number of pupils per class. Our question however is, how prepared is GES in the area of infrastructure, provision of veronica buckets, hand sanitisers, nose masks, temperature guns, and other toiletries needed to fight the [Covid-19] infestation in schools? Looking under the covers of GES, we can emphatically say without any scintilla of doubt that they are not prepared to mitigate the spread of the virus in schools. The said proposal to reopen schools could be best described as an avenue to risk the health of our children in these trying times of our existence where the novel [Covid-19] cases are on a sharp increase on a daily basis without a vaccine or a possible cure’, they added.

They called on GES and the Minister of Education to rescind their decision to reopen schools too soon because it would be dangerous for the students. They recommended that e-learning platforms and centres should be established in communities including rural areas to ensure inclusivity, and the government should retool and rehabilitate existing public schools to make them safe for children before schools are reopened. Private school owners should be guided to implement the same in the interest of public health and safety.

Source: News Ghana24

Photo source: Justine Warrington

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