‘Let the kids go home’ – Right Alliance Africa Appeals to Gov’t
Think tank, Right Alliance Africa, has joined teacher unions urging the government to close down reopened schools following reports of Coronavirus infections on some Senior High School campuses.
In a press release issued on Thursday, July 16, 2020, the Alliance said the government must immediately allow SHS students go home, halt Junior High School academics and utilise 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 release signed by Director of Communication, Michael Sumaila Nlasia, stated.
Already, the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH), the Parent-Teacher Association, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other groups have admonished government to send the students back home.
After about three months of closing down schools to hold the spread of the virus, the government, in May, gave the directive for final-year students to resume and complete the final phase of their education.
But at least ten Senior High Schools have been hit with cases of infection. In one school, the Accra Girls Senior High School, over 50 students have reportedly tested positive for the virus.
Government has said that the students will remain in schools and has promised to ensure that COVID-19 infections in schools are tackled.
Joining the many calling for the schools to be closed again, Rights Alliance Africa said the government must urgently 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 neighbouring West African country has held on to the conducting of WASCCE examinations. What then is so special in the case of Ghana?” the think tank quizzed.
According to the group, there is a high possibility that JHS students returning from school to their communities will serve as carriers.
The group has also advised the government to conduct mass testing on campuses and allow students who test negative to go home and isolate positive cases to avoid the mass spread of the virus among students and the communities.