The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) has urged the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and school authorities to work with parents and students to ensure the effective containment and management of COVID-19 outbreak in schools.
The authorities, it said should ensure the provision of adequate logistics for containment and isolation measures, while students and parents must exercise restraint and register their concerns with decorum and follow due process.
A statement signed by Mr Joseph Atsu Homadzi, Interim Board Chairman of the GNECC, which was copied to the Ghana News Agency, said it was unfortunate that some incidents had been recorded in some schools, while an ulcer student who went into a crisis lost his life over fears that he might be suffering from COVID-19.
“As a Coalition that is passionately promoting access to quality, equitable and inclusive education for all Ghanaian children, we are deeply sorrowed over what is going on in our schools,” it said.
“We are of the view that should the unfortunate happenings continue, the close down of the schools will be inevitable.
“Our deepest condolences go to the family, colleagues and friends of the KNUST SHS student who lost his life on 7th July.
“We request for an immediate commencement of investigation into circumstances leading to the death of the final year student of the KNUST SHS and ensure that anyone found culpable face the full rigors of the law.”
It also urged the Ministry of Education and the GES to liaise with the Ministry of Health to establish a health desk in all senior high schools to provide medical care to students in emergencies before sending them to health facilities where necessary.
The GES with the Ministry of Education, has reported COVID-19 outbreak in some schools, including the Accra Girls Senior High School, amid calls by a section of the society for the schools to be closed down again.
However, the authorities have assured that the situation is under control as isolation boarding houses had been created for asymptomatic students, while sick ones were sent to health facilities for treatment.
The GNECC, therefore, urged the GES to continually reassure parents and guardians on the safety of their wards in school “during this period of uncertainty”.
It commended the GES for the efforts being made to ensure that the education of school children was not truncated because of COVID-19, but called for the strengthening of the measures and compliance to the rules to make the school environment safer for students and staff across the country.
There should be adequate protective accessories (sanitizers, gloves, soap, veronica buckets, etc.) to all schools to ensure that staff and students were well protected, it said.
Following the directives of the President, final year students of SHS, with the Second-Year Gold Track students, resumed school on Monday, June 22 to complete their courses and write their exit examinations.
Likewise, the final year students of JHS resumed on Monday, June 29 to prepare for their exit exams.