Right Alliance Africa (RAA) has noticed with keen concerned activities by government of the day, to jeopardize with the health of future leaders of this country. The education of this country is paramount and Right Alliance supports any intention to advance it course. But substituting matters of health with voting right and academics is worrying.
The Constitution of Ghana stipulates categorically the right to register and vote by any Ghanaian who have attained the age of 18 years and above. The right to vote is undoubtedly a constitutional requirement for every citizen of the Republic of Ghana to exercise their franchise to choose a leader to lead them. Whiles academics is also of essence especially the final year stage, in the light of health, the constitution spells same as fundamental to human rights.
Admittedly, “We are not in normal times.” As such, it befalls on government to consider students in these times and adopt pragmatic measures to assess students due for completion. We are at sea why government is bent on conducting B.E.C.E and WASCCE examination as an academic requirement to higher learning than the health of the students. Obviously, the examination is portions of lessons taught and expected to be reproduced by students, so why the necessity to conduct final exams. Indeed, there’s been examples of countries closing down schools after
reopening due to further spread of the disease in schools, whiles Nigeria, our neighboring West African country has held on to the conducting of WASCCE examinations. What then is so special in the case of Ghana?
In the wake of covid-19, virtually all institutions are adopting to new strategies and in the case of education, we expect the GES and the Ministry of Education to adopt to the new way of living and not to continuously risk the lives of students. Continuous assessment, we believe is an assured way to assess these students into higher learning. In any case, how does the Ghana Education Service (GES) intend to promote continuing students in other levels in the educational sector?
Health serves as the basics to individual and national development. And government is expected to prioritize the health of its citizens ahead of any policy. Therefore, we expect government to reconsider and listen to wise counsel and do the needful.
New covid-19 infections cases keep rising in the schools day in and out, and government persistently sacrificing the health of these kids whiles government machineries are being closed down. 55 cases at the Accra Girls Senior High School, is among the list of SHS affected by covid19. While the sudden death of the KNUST student still lingers on our minds, another incident of death has surfaced in the western region. We expect government to listen to the very citizens that entrusted to it the powers it rides on and safeguard the lives of students.
The Ministry of Finance, Bulk Oil Storage and Distribution (BOST), COCOBOD, GNPC, NHIA, the Supreme Court to mention a few, all with minimal cases compared to schools with covid-19 cases have been closed down. It is however unproductive for government to display intolerant and insensitiveness towards health priority of students and future leaders of this country.
In the name of B.E.C.E, 14 and 15 years students are made to commute from home to school on daily basis without consideration of them contracting the diseases and spreading it in their various communities. Our hospitals are being overwhelmed and government is still insensitive to community spread. In times that testing of covid-19 cases have been vastly reduced by government, the country is not ready to experience mass community spread.
These updates have caused four teacher unions in the country to call for the shutdown of the secondary schools across the country: Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union, National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH), including the Parent Teacher Association, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and well-meaning Ghanaians, all have admonished government to send the students back home but keeps riding on ego and insensitivity.
We in Right Alliance Africa adds to the many calls on government to allow SHS students go home, halt JHS academics and utilize the continuous assessment to grade students into the next stage of the academic ladder. We suggest same is applied to continuous students at various levels, whiles alternatives are prepared toward the new academic year.
The possibility of an upsurge in covid-19 cases among JHS students serving as carriers of covid-19 cases to their communities is high. Judging from non-adherence of social distancing in the communities, we call on government to conduct mass testing on the various campuses and allow students who test negative to go home and isolate positive cases to avoid mass spread of covid19 among students and the communities.
LONG LIVE RIGHT ALLIANCE
LONG LIVE GHANA
ISSUE BY RIGHT ALLIANCE-AFRICA
Michael Sumaila Nlasia (Director of Communication): 0548455071
Simon Tetteh (Executive Secretary): 0506264685