The National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations of Ghana (PTA) is urging the government to dispatch medical personnel to the various senior high schools to conduct periodic COVID-19 tests on students and staff.
This comes on the back of pockets of positive cases recorded at some senior high schools.
Accra Girls SHS, Konongo Wesley SHS and Mfanstiman Girls SHS are among the schools with confirmed cases of the virus.
The council says students are no safer at home than they are at school, hence, calls for schools to shut down and students sent home are unreasonable under the circumstances.
The President of the Council, Alexander Danso, who spoke on the Citi Breakfast Show, yabovipsaid the best alternative is for the government to institute the right steps towards ensuring the compliance of all safety protocols.
“You cannot even tell where the disease is coming from because some of the students travel long distances to the school and the teachers are also going up and down. A lot of people are saying the students should go back home but parents are going to be the losers. The voter registration exercise is compounding the situation.”
“If you go for your ward and he or she has contracted the virus, what do you do? you are endangering yourself. You take a vehicle, and the people in the vehicle are endangering their lives. You go to the house and you are endangering the family before you realize the disease has been spread”.
yabovip“The government promised to protect the students. What we will allow is for teachers to be disciplined in the school because we know that most of the measures have not been instituted in the schools so the government must walk the talk,” he added.
Calls for school closure
The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) has said it expects Senior High Schools to shut down if recent health-related incidents continue.
yabovipIn a statement, the group warned that if “the unfortunate happenings continue the closedown of the schools will be inevitable.”
GNECC highlighted the “chaotic incidences which put the students in great fear and danger” following the reopening of schools after an initial shutdown because of the virus.
The group is responding to the recent COVID-19 infections in schools and resulting agitations.
Also, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) says COVID-19 infections in schools vindicates their caution to the government prior to the reopening schools in the country.
NAGRAT and other bodies are on record to have advised against the reopening of schoolsyabovip, saying that it will lead to the spread of the virus.
Students not at peace to study – Minority
The Minority in Parliament has called on the government to close down schools again following reports that some Senior High School (SHS) students have contracted COVID-19 few weeks after academic work resumed.
The Minority says the government must take a second look at the decision because students are scared and do not have the peace of mind to study for the exams.
Member of Parliament for Builsa South and Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Clement Apaak speaking on Eyewitness News said the government has failed to protect students and thus schools should be closed down again.
“The Minority caucus in Parliament totally agrees with NAGRAT’s position. We had earlier issued a statement and, in that statement, we made it very clear that because of the exponential rise in the case count vis-à-vis reports about these students now becoming infected with the disease and juxtaposing that with government’s absolute failure in putting in place the mechanisms and breaching the promises that it made to ensure that students remain safe on campus, there can only be one conclusion– the students must go home. Parents need to have their wards because the state has failed to provide the needed safety measures to ensure that they have the peace of mind to be able to study and to write their final exams so there is no need keeping them in school when the dangers are so obvious, clear and present”, he said.