Peace Council Chair disagrees with call for closure of schools

The Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante, has expressed dissent regarding calls on government to close down Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the wake of some reported cases of Covid-19. According to him, the Covid-19 management team should be guided by science and data and not just calls for the closure of the schools simply because some have recorded cases. Students in some SHS are reported to have tested positive to the virus, a development which has generated anxiety among parents and guardians. At Accra Girls’ SHS, for instance, parents stormed the school last week to take their children home upon hearing that some cases had been recorded. But the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) intervened to calm parents and assure them of their children’s safety. There has since been calls for schools to be closed, with the National Council of Parent Teachers Associations (NCPTA)) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) among the latest to make this demand. Speaking on Onua TV’s Maakye hosted by Bright Kwasi Asempa and Adwoa Konadu-Yiadom on Tuesday, July 14, Prof Asante said the experts are better placed to advise on the way forward. “They [health professionals] are the ones that have the knowledge in health delivery so we must be guided by their advice,” he said. “The mere fact that some students have tested positive has no basis to shut down all schools. We should follow the science because if we say we should shut all, it does not have basis,” he added. Prof Asante observed that there are no guarantees that the students are safer at home than they are in school, urging all parents and guardians to calm down. “There should not be anxiety because when [students] come home, what is the guarantee that they will be safe? We should allow them to study,” he urged. The Peace Council Chair urged politicians to refrain from politicizing the management of Covid-19, noting health does have not political colour. “We should not politicize the issue. It is science issue and we should not over politicize the issue. If they [health professionals] say there is no cause for alarm. We should allow them to learn.”

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By Kweku Antwi-Otoo||Ghana]]>