President Nana Akufo-Addo says the government will do all it can to protect students and teachers who have returned to school following the reopening of educational facilities across the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo says the coronavirus pandemic must not lead to a disruption in the country’s education system.
Opening the 72nd annual New Year school and conference at the University of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said the government has so far shown commitment in protecting all and will ensure that the schools remain safe.
“Today, all students in the country’s educational structure are back in school with some doing so after a 10-month break. Government is determined to ensure their safety while in school,” he said.
The decision to reopen schools in Ghana comes at a time when the country is seeing an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases.
The decision has since been greeted with mixed reactions with some saying it is long overdue while others warn that it may increase the spread of the virus due to risks involved in students congregating in classrooms.
Some parents, including the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George have expressed anxiety over the possible spread of the virus in the school as Ghana’s cases increase.
The Ningo Prampram MP said due to the unfavourable conditions in the education sector now, his children will not be in school until further notice.
But the General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah believes that reopening of schools, even for basic school pupils, though tough, was a decision that had to be taken sooner than later.
“It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the concerns that have so far been raised. However, I can tell you on authority that if you take a look at the Ghana Living Standard Survey, we have a little over 31 million people in Ghana now, and a considerable number of them fall around the 4-year bracket. The challenge now is that, if these children do not go to school now, they will turn 5 by the close of the year and I can tell you on authority, some of them will end up as child labourers. ”
Schools in Ghana were closed on March 15, 2020, as part of the government’s measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.