The Ghana Education Service (GES), has called on national teachers’ associations such as the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) for inputs on the strategies to adopt to ensure smooth re-opening of schools.
Director-General of GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa – in a statement to the teacher associations, indicated that management of GES want to engage stakeholders in putting together plans that position the education sector in a ‘ready to go’ mood should the president review his directive and order a re-opening of schools.
“As major stakeholders in education delivery, we wish to have your inputs as an association on the strategies to adopt so as to ensure we can smoothly re-open schools while ensuring the maximum security and safety of all. It is the expectation of GES’ management that we can count on our stakeholders’ maximum cooperation and support in this exercise,” he said.
President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, in March this year directed that all schools should close down as part of efforts to deal with spread of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Initially, final-year students were exempted from the closure to enable them prepare for their final examinations – but were later asked to go home when the West Africa examination Council (WAEC) declared a postponement of examinations for this year in all member-countries.
Against this backdrop, the GES has ordered the close-down of all schools since March; and though the president is yet to announce a lift on the ban of schools after doing same for some businesses, the GES is hoping to put in place measures which will ensure that it is ever-ready to re-open once government makes the declaration.
It will be recalled that GES recently hired the services of waste management experts Zoomlion Ghana Limited to fumigate and disinfect all senior high schools nationwide, in a quest to safeguard them from the deadly coronavirus and eradicate bedbugs in them. This is part of the measures it is putting in place to ensure smooth re-opening of schools when the ban is lifted.
However, some NAGRAT and GNAT members – especially headteachers of the various senior high schools across the country – are of the view that considering the continuous increase in COVID-19 cases within the country and acute shortage of infrastructure facilities – precisely dormitories – in almost all the schools, re-opening them now may be a disaster.
The various headteachers made this observation during the nationwide SHS fumigation exercise by Zoomlion Ghana Limited.