Contrary to the overwhelming concerns raised by anxious parents over the poor handling of COVID-19 cases and their accompanying measures in schools across the country, management of the Ghana Education Service (GES) says its findings rather show parents are pleased with the instituted protocols thus far.
Director-General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa on Face to Face on Citi TV, disclosed that “so far the parents who have called me and my other officials, are so glad about the measures we have put in place and how we are handling the issues”.
Justifying this position albeit the large number of parents who have besieged schools with recorded cases of COVID-19 to demand the release of their children, Prof. Amankwa said it was because “the media created panic which for me was needless”.
Since the reopening of schools for final year students to enable them to partake in their exit examinations, sch, educational stakeholders, the Minority in Parliament, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the National Council for Parent Teacher Association (PTA) have called for the closure of the schools given the increase in the number of cases being recorded in the schools.
The NDC, for instance, said a reversal of the reopening of schools would be the only way to express the government’s commitment of not endangering the lives of students and staff as promised.
Some have also called for the mass testing of students as an additional infection management protocol.
Although some guidelines have been outlined to stem the spread, these groups say they are not completely enthused about existing situations in the schools hence, students should be allowed to return home in a bid to safeguard them against the virus.
The GES boss dismissed calls for students to be allowed to return home insisting “that they will come back with the infections they have collected in the schools into the larger society for the bigger society to be infected. Is that what we want?”
“I don’t think this is what the conversations should be. The conversations should rather be on what measures have been put in place for issues like safety. The health people tell us that we will be better off keeping them in there and treating them,” Prof. Amankwah stressed.
Apart from the Accra Girls SHS where 55 individuals including students and staff have contracted the virus, other schools across the country have also confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 but GHS and GES say those cases “have not experienced a surge,” as seen in Accra Girls’ SHS.
As a result, both school and health authorities have announced a number of measures put in place in Accra Girls as well as the other schools to curtail any further spread of COVID-19.