Ghana’s Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh says schools in the country will be reopened when science and data prove so and on the advice of the Ghana Health Service and other stakeholders.
President Akufo-Addo on his first televised nation’s address on Sunday, March 15, 2020, directed for all schools in the country to be closed down as part of precautionary measures to slow and curb the novel coronavirus.
But, He later announced for schools to be reopened to only final year students for them to continue with academic activities, complete the 2019/2020 academic year and sit for their final examinations respectively.
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Currently, non-final year students across the country have stayed home for about 5 months as a temporal school break until further notice amid the outbreak of COVID-19 that has claimed at least 223 lives of August 13, 2020.
Following the ease of the COVID-19 restrictions, some Ghanaians including the private school teachers association has called on the government to consider reopening schools in September for academic activities to resume.
Meanwhile, the President Akufo-Addo in his 14th televised nation’s address noted the government is in consultations with stakeholders in the education sector to determine the conditions for the future re-opening of schools after the conduct of the ongoing and forthcoming 2020 BECE and WASSCE in mid-September, 2020.
However, the Minister of Education speaking in an interview with TV3’s Berla Mundi on COVID-19 360 said the reopening of schools will depend on the behaviour of COVID-19 and on the science and data”
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh furthered that COVID-19 preventive protocols like social distancing, wearing of nose masks, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, regular handwashing with soap under running water among others would be observed should schools reopened at a later date.
The Minister of Education commenting on calls for reopening schools this year September said “those saying schools should be reopened will not be there if an incident happens”.
He consequently urged stakeholders, students and members of the general public to exercise patience as the Government of Ghana reopens schools in a safe manner.