The government has not made a pronouncement on the re-opening of schools, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said. Reacting to media reports which suggested that schools would be re-opened soon, the Minister described the reports as inaccurate since consultations on what it will take to re-open schools are ongoing.
He said: “Government is not saying that schools are to re-open soon, what we are saying is that consultations on what it takes to re-open schools are what we are currently engaged in”.
It will be recalled that the pre-tertiary Education Unions warned against any plans by the Ghana Education Service to reopen schools. According to the unions, they would not subscribe to the re-opening of the schools should President Akufo-Addo decide not to extend the 31st May 2020 deadline for the ban on prescribed public and social gatherings to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and go ahead to order the re-opening of the schools.
The groups insist that conditions are not ripe for the safe reopening of schools given that the new coronavirus infection spread remains “very exponential” and “still very much horizontal” in the country.
Reacting to the protest of several stakeholder groups who expressed apprehensions to the re-opening of the schools, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said it was okay for people to be apprehensive. He mentioned that such apprehensions should be channelled towards finding a viable solution for the easing of restrictions on public gatherings.
“We noticed that there are a lot of stakeholder groups and parents and unions that appear apprehensive since those reports came out. It is okay to be apprehensive, Indeed if we were not apprehensive we would not be sensitive to challenges of the times.
“It is okay to be apprehensive, it is okay to have worries, it is okay to wonder how this will be done but we must channel those apprehensions and those worries towards answering the question; what does it take? what should be the indication of a good time? What will be the best way to protect teachers, non-teachers, and students if we are to open-up at some point?”.
He added that it was a good time for all Ghanaians to be involved in the conversation about the re-opening of schools.