Citizens For Truth and Accountability Ghana – CITAG through this medium calls on the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Education and the government of Ghana to as a matter of urgency close down all schools in Ghana. We have noted with grave concern reported cases of Covid-19 in our schools notably the senior high schools with confirmed cases in some instances.
It is recalled that about two weeks ago, the President directed Ghana education service to resume schools for the final year students to enable them prepare and write their respective completion exams. Following this directive, final year students at public universities, training colleges, Secondary schools and Junior high Schools have all returned to school.
However in a rather awkward development, the media space in the past weeks have been occupied with reports of Covid-19 cases at various senior high schools in the country. So far our checks have revealed that schools namely Adisadel College, Apam Senior High School, Mfantsipim Senior High School, Aggrey Memorial Senior High School, Tema Senior High School, Mawuli Senior High School, Bishop Herman College, Mawuko Girls Senior High School, Dabala Senior High Technical School, Bishop Porter Girls Senior High and many more have recorded various degrees of confirmed Covid 19 cases.
It is also worth noting that, the National Parents Association have on Monday 13/07/2020 called on government to send the students back home for fear of escalation of Covid-19 in the schools. The call of the Parents Association cannot be underrated for the mere fact that they are the natural owners of these children and the mouth piece of all other parents in Ghana who have wards in the schools. Similarly, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT as well as the National Graduate Teachers Association, NAGRAT have on several platforms called out government on its notoriety on this same issue.
In this era where some notable countries like South Africa, Kenya, neighbouring Nigeria, other countries have directed the closure of all schools, Government of Ghana is risking the lives of students, teaching and non-teaching staffs on various campuses. Where government is drawing that motivation from, we are unable to comprehend. In a categorical statement made by Nigerian education minister, he opined that no examination body has power over the people of Nigeria. He further proposed the postponement of all exams to 2021 when they become certain that Covid-19 has been contained and poses no serious danger.
Furthermore, we know that, an appreciable number of these students have various underlying health conditions notably sickle cell, diabetes, Asthma etc which puts their lives in serious threat when they contract the virus, especially as in the case of ‘day students boarders’ whose health records are not known to the school authorities. As it stands now our checks revealed there isn’t any exceptional provisions that have been made for this category of ‘unfortunate’ students. It is glaring in our interaction with the students that, they are not pleased with the current system where they have been forced to stay in classes and learn with lots of uncertainties in their minds. Some expressed fear that they may not genuinely excel in their exams under the prevailing circumstances.
It is on these basis and on our own independent assessment of the current situation that we in CITAG are calling on the government to close down schools without further delay. The lives of our innocent students must not be played with! In any case, in who’s interest do we continue to hold up these vulnerable ones in school when their parents through the association have openly express dislike for the current practice? What use is examination when the nation is crumbling to its needs and every aspect of live is hard hit by the deadly biological weapon?
It is our hope that the government will heed to wise counsel and do the needful thing so as to help curtail the contagious spread of Covid-19.
Long live Ghana!
Long live CITAG!
CITAG…voice of the voiceless!
EBEN KWAKU FENUKU
Director of communication