It Is Not Too Late To Close Down Schools Again

Address to the nation Address to the nation

President Akufo-Addo, on Sunday May 31, in his address to the nation, announced the reopening of schools for exiting students in tertiary, primary and secondary schools across the country.

 According to the president "Final-year university students are to report to their universities on 15 June, final-year senior high school students, together with senior high school 2 Gold Track students, on 22 June; and final-year junior high school students on 29 June".

It has been more than three months since schools closed in more than 190 countries, affecting 1.57 billion children and youths. The closure of schools across the world happened in quick succession, as a measure to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, nicknamed COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of the announcement by the president, Ghana has recorded 8,070 COVID-19 infections with 36 deaths.

As of Thursday, July 9, Ghana's case count stood at 22,822, with recoveries/discharges now 17,564. The number of death toll, however, remains 129.

Less than two weeks after reopening of schools, some second cycle institutions, have reported cases of COVID-19, including Accra girls.

A joint statement from the Ghana Education Service and Ghana Health Service said, "The Ghana Education Service (GES) received reports of suspected cases of COVID-19 from some second cycle institutions including Accra Girls Senior High school. The Ghana Health Service was subsequently notified of the situation. As of 6 July 2020, six (6) students, a teacher and spouse, have been confirmed as positive for COVID-19 in Accra Girls Senior High School."

As a newspaper, we are concerned that keeping the students in school will exacerbate the problem, as we are beginning to see daily spike in the reported cases.

Other member West Africa Examination Countries (WAEC), including the Nigerian government, had bowed to pressure and reversed reopening of schools.

With the increasing number of confirmed cases in the country, and in the absence of a vaccine, compliance with infection prevention and control (IPC) measures remains the most effective intervention to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some of the measures announced by the World Health Organisation, include; stay home, wash hands regularly, use handsanitizers, avoid crowded places, desist from touching your face etc.

Most, if not all of these safety protocols, cannot be properly observed by these students, who usually have high adrenalin.

Government should listen to voices of reason, including teacher unions, asking that schools should be closed down again.

Nigeria and Kenya, have shown the way, we can do same, it is not too late.