- But unresolved concerns could hinder progress
All is set for full time academic work to resume across the country in both pre-tertiary and tertiary educational institutions after the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education said they have put in place all necessary arrangements to ensure safety of students.
The leadership of all educational institutions including headmasters and mistresses, principals, rectors, vice chancellors, among others, have so far indicated their readiness to receive students and resume full time academic work, some school authorities said in their interactions with the media during the recent nationwide fumigation/disinfection exercise.
Earlier this month, President Nana Akufo-Addo, in his update on the ‘measures taken against spread of coronavirus’ said that the lessons drawn from the reopening of some educational institutions last year have put leadership in a much better position to oversee successfully the full reopening of schools.
“Our children must go to school, albeit safely, and we are satisfied that in the current circumstances, the re-opening of our schools is safe,” he said.
The president also mentioned the massive infrastructure expansion that have taken place in schools over the past three years making it possible to initiate measures that would gradually phase out double track system at the SHS level.
“I must stress that SHS three students in all schools like SHS one students, will no longer run the double track system. The expansion of infrastructure at the various schools over the last three years has brought us to this favourable situation,” he added.
Some health practitioners have advised that students in tertiary institutions, at least, must take a compulsory COVID-19 test as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
Also, heads of private second cycle schools across the country are asking for financial support from government to help them cover operational cost and payment of salaries for the first few months of the year.
The COVID-19 induced financial difficulties have led to the permanent closure of some private basic and secondary schools, with their facilities converted into apartments and guest houses.
Some industry watchers have expressed fear that students of these schools, especially in deprived communities with limited alternatives, will have challenges finding another school to attend. And even if they do, it could lead to over-crowding which might undermine social distancing among other COVID-19 protocols.