The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) is pushing for government to order all final year students in junior high and senior high schools and their teachers to go home.
As Ghana steps up measures to prevent the spread of the six confirmed deadly novel coronavirus cases, all universities, senior high schools and basic schools have since Monday, March 16 been shut down.
President Nana Akufo-Addo who announced the shutdown Sunday night said BECE and WASSCE candidates are to attend school to prepare for their examinations, but with prescribed social distancing protocols.
President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu however said the decision to keep the final year students and teachers on campus is unacceptable.
He told our correspondent Daniel Opoku on Monday that all students must be made to go home, arguing “Keeping the final years’ in school is not the solution to the problem” of preventing the spread of the global pandemic.
“Where we have a problem as teachers is the fact that the directive was more directed to students, what about the teachers?” he questioned.
In his view, keeping the final year students and teachers in the classrooms will ultimately defeat the purpose of the schools closure, contending that the teachers will have to move from home, board trotro which is communal and then come to the school, be in the staff common room which is also communal.
“…Gatherings have been banned and then you have a school like Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School with a staff strength of over 100 congregating in the staff common room, then you are not solving the problem. We thought that if you’re taking a decision the decision ought to be thorough,” he stated.
For him, since all the West African countries which come under WAEC have recorded cases of the coronavirus, “what stops the Council (WAEC) from postponing the exams to the right time? It’s a simple decision”
“When exams starts, the students will be congregated in a hall, teachers will have to go among the students to invigilate. What are you solving [then]?” he queried.
Measures announced by Akufo-Addo to stem spread of covid-19
- All public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as services in churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four (4) weeks. Private burials are permitted, but with limited numbers, not exceeding twenty-five (25) in attendance;
- All Universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools, i.e. public and private schools, will be closed Monday, 16th March, 2020, till further notice. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes. However, BECE and WASSCE candidates will be allowed to attend school to prepare for their examinations, but with prescribed social distancing protocols;
- The Government of Ghana’s Travel Advisory issued earlier today should be observed as announced;
- Businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate, but should observe prescribed social distancing between patrons and staff;
- Establishments, such as supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs, hotels and drinking spots, should observe enhanced hygiene procedures by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands;
- The Ministry of Transport should work with the transport unions and private and public transport operators to ensure enhanced hygienic conditions in all vehicles and terminals, by providing, amongst others, hand sanitizers, running water and soap for washing of hands; and
- The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development should co-ordinate, with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, measures to enhance conditions of hygiene in markets across the country.