The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Education Committee, Peter Nortsu Kotoe has reiterated that mass reopening of schools in the country is not advisable.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Child Rights International on Monday, September 7, 2020, called for the immediate reopening of schools.
According to the NGO, the partial reopening of Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School final year students has proven that it will be safer for students to be in school than stay at home.
All nursery, kindergarten, primary, Junior High School (JHS) 1 and Senior High School (SHS) 1 student have had the rest of their 2019/2020 academic year postponed till January 2021.
This was announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, August 31, 2020, during his 16th COVID-19 update to Ghanaians.
He said, per consultations with the Ghana Education Service (GES), the resumption of the next academic year in January 2021 will be made “with appropriate adjustments to the curriculum to ensure that nothing is lost from the previous year.”
“The analysis we have done so far shows that the school system will be safer for children than they being at home looking at the data of students who are allowed to go to school at the SHS level and Junior High level. If you pick the data for the SHS, over 270,000 plus students were in school, and out of that we had less than 600 people getting COVID.”
After the country recorded its first two coronavirus cases in March 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo, among other measures, shut down schools.
He subsequently opened schools for final year Senior High and Junior High school students to enable them to sit for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West African Secondary School Certificate Examination respectively.
Some parents and private school proprietors have also called on the government to open schools at all levels.
But Peter Nortsu Kotoe insists such a step can not be taken till COVID-19 has totally been nipped in the bud.
“It is not right for the mass reopening of schools across the country now. I believe in the fact that prevention is better than cure and we are trying to prevent an escalation. So if the COVID-19 number is going down, let us go by that until we have zero infection.”