While teachers from the public schools are asking the government to abort any possible plans of reopening schools, the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) argues otherwise.
According to GNACOPS, the schools should be opened if the government believes it’s safe regardless of the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“I want the President to reopen schools and come up with some mechanisms and approach that we can all adhere to,” the Executive Director of GNACOPS, Enoch Kwasi Gyetuah said on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News.
The position of private schools has been challenged by four teacher unions who are kicking against plans to reopen schools any time soon.
The four are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Tertiary Education Workers Union (TEWU), and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT).
In a joint statement, they indicated that items for the observation of the prescribed protocols which includes face masks and alcohol-based sanitizers are not available in the various schools hence their apprehension.
Schools in Ghana have been closed since 15th March, 2020 as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
President Nana Akufo-Addo will address the country on the new measures adopted to fight COVID-19 by May 31, 2020.
According to the teacher unions, the Ghana Education Service in a circular dated 13th May, 2020 had requested for “proposals for the reopening of schools” hence their statement urging government not to consider such a decision now.
But Mr. Gyetuah, who insists the schools must be reopened was of the view that the government will not take any decision that will jeopardize the health of students.
“If the government comes out and tells us that conditions have changed and communities are safe now, why not? Before the removal of the lockdown, the President said he had spoken with the experts and they are claiming that it was safe to remove the lockdown. I know very well that the Education Ministry and its agencies will certainly come out with some guidelines and we the implementers are supposed to make sure that those structures or framework are adhered to.”
He said, “If you ask me for my personal view on this thing, I’ll say that I still see students who have been asked to stay home still roaming on the street. I also see them engaging in a lot of social activities on the streets. So if there is a directive that we should go to the classroom as at now, and now the government gives us some measures to adhere to, then we will adhere to the measures.”
Meanwhile, the President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Angel Carbonu who also spoke on Point Blank insists that it is not currently safe to reopen schools.