Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has said the government will not succumb to pressure by the Council of Private Schools to re-open schools.
According to him, the lives of students are more important thus the Akufo-Addo-led government is only following due diligence to curb the spread of the deadly Novel Coronavirus.
He was speaking on the back of statements made by school owners that times are difficult for them while calling on the president to reopen schools.
“Govt has noted the concerns of the Association but we can’t succumb to the pressure because the students’ lives will be at risk. If schools are reopened now and then the virus spreads, certainly parents will prevent their children from going to school,” he said in an interview on Hello FM monitored by GhanaWeb.
Dr. Adutwum argued that President Akufo-Addo is very much concerned about education but it would be a dangerous move on the side of the government to allow students to go back to school because COVID-19 has not been entirely eradicated.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in the country who wants children to be in school than Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo because of the importance of education. So it’s not that the Ghana Health Service wants to sabotage. Parents are even skeptical and many seem not to ready to allow their wards in school just yet.”
The sector’s Dep Minister likened an abrupt re-reopening of schools to countries who took similar steps, following zero case count, but the decision backfired.
“The fact that the country’s case count has reduced doesn’t mean we should act carelessly. Some countries that recorded zero cases eased restrictions and then they were hit with the virus again. The president has reiterated Ghana does not want to get there hence the careful steps being implemented.”
He noted that school owners should, for now, take solace in the fact that students in the second year of both Junior and Senior High Schools will soon reopen.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 16th address to the nation on measures taken to curb the spread of the Novel Coronavirus announced plans by his government to reopen schools for JHS 2 and SHS 2 students by October 5, 2020.
He said, “…after consultation with the relevant stakeholders, for SHS 2 and JHS 2 students to return to school from 5th October to 14th December 2020 to complete their academic year…”
“The Ghana Education Service, after further consultations, has decided to postpone the remainder of the academic year for all nursery, kindergarten, primary, JHS 1 and SHS 1 students. The next academic year will resume in January 2021, with appropriate adjustments made to the curriculum, to ensure that nothing is lost from the previous year…,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Dr. Yaw Adutwum thus pleaded with the Association to exercise patience as the government is taken pragmatic steps to ensure the safety of all students.