The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has debunked claims that the government intends to reopen schools soon regardless of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to him, a number of stakeholder consultations are being held in that regard.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information COVID-19 press briefing, the Ofoase-Ayirebi legislator called on stakeholder groups and parents to channel their energies finding possible ways of resolving the COVID-19 challenges.
“We noticed that there are a lot of stakeholder groups and parents and unions that appear apprehensive since those reports [schools reopening soon] came out. It is okay to be apprehensive, Indeed if we were not apprehensive then we would not be sensitive to challenges of the times,” Oppong Nkrumah said.
“It is okay to have worries, it is okay to wonder how this will be done but we must channel those apprehensions and those worries towards answering the question; what does it take? what should be the indication of a good time? What will be the best way to protect teachers, non-teachers, students if we are to open-up at some point?”
Also, Oppong Nkrumah assured citizens that the government will continue to have stakeholder engagements aimed at soliciting inputs and shaping ideas on easing some of the COVID-19 restrictions.
He further entreated citizens and the media to join the conversation as this will help broaden the scope on options available to better protect citizens.
“We need to have a proper national conversation about this and we will be needing that part of the conversation from stateside but we want the journalists to join with their thoughts and submission about what it will take to lift the new normal, ease as much as can by protecting the population while the world is about to find a cure to the virus,” the Minister said.
Reopening schools will put teachers, students at risk – PTA, SMC
The Parents Teacher Association and School Management Committees had advised the government against the reopening of schools in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Ghana.
The groups at a stakeholder consultation pointed out that it would not be advisable to reopen schools now as lives of teachers, students and other school workers may be put at risk due to the difficulty in maintaining social distance at schools.
Schools must be reopened if it’s safe
Meanwhile, the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) has however argued otherwise.
According to GNACOPS, the schools should be opened if the government believes it’s safe regardless of the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.
Schools in Ghana have been closed since 15th March 2020 as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Shut down all schools until further notice – Nana Addo orders
On March 15, 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo issued a directive for the closure of schools ranging from the basic education level to the tertiary institutions.
This was a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus and making school an incubating hub for the coronavirus.
This directive came on the back of the outbreak of the coronavirus when Ghana as at that time had recorded 6 cases.