The Ghana Education Service (GES) has ordered the immediate and indefinite shut down of basic and second-cycle schools hosting final-year Junior and Senior High School students beginning Monday, March 23, 2020.
This directive follows concerns raised by teacher unions over the continuous stay of the students in the school and the recent suspension of the 2020 edition of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
WAEC in a statement announced that it had “put on hold” the 2020 WASSCE due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
GES in a statement issued on Friday, March 20, 2020, said the Service has after stakeholder consultations, settled on allowing the students to put their classes on hold.
“Management of GES after consultations with the relevant bodies hereby directs that all final year students in the Senior High Schools should be allowed to go home immediately, until further notice.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo after the six confirmed cases directed that the final year students should stay in school as they prepare to write the BECE and the WASSCE as the schools close down for a month but the teachers said the continuous stay in school for these students will put the lives of both teachers and students at risk.
Fate of BECE candidates
GES says it has begun talks with WAEC to find the way forward for the conduct of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) as well and will communicate the final decision in due course.
“Meanwhile, management is in serious discussions with WAEC on the conduct of the BECE and further directs that all schools which were open to allow final year students to prepare for their final examinations are also to close down effective Monday 23rd March 2020. Any decision arrived at after the discussion on the 2020 BECE will be communicated to the general public.”
“Students, parents and the general public are assured that concrete steps are being taken to ensure that, all students will have access to academic programs while at home. Management is monitoring the situation and will review the same in consultation with all the relevant institutions and bodies and update schools on the next steps,” the statement concluded.
WASSCE timetable suspended
The WASSCE 2020 timetable has also been suspended until further notice.
According to an internal memo sighted by citinewsroom.com, the Council says the conduct of WASSCE 2020 has also been put on hold and will be reviewed when the pandemic is put under control.