The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has said it does not want to see a second wave of COVID-19 infections in Ghana as is happening in other parts of the world.
He thus urged the education authorities to ensure that the necessary safety measures and protocols are put in place to safeguard the welfare of students and teachers as second-year junior and senior high students return to school today, Monday, 5 October 2020, to complete their academic year.
The decision was taken by the Ghana Education Service after consultations with the relevant stakeholders.
The students will remain in school until 14 December 2020.
Announcing this in his 16th COVID-19 address to the nation on Sunday, 30 August 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said: “With Junior High Schools operating with class sizes of thirty (30), and Senior High Schools with class sizes of twenty-five (25), SHS 2 and JHS 2 students will be in school for ten (10) weeks to study, and write their end of term examinations”.
“SHS 2 students in boarding houses are to return to their various dormitories on 5th October, while day students, respecting fully the COVID-19 protocols, will commute from home to their respective schools on the same date.”
Prior to today, all JHSs and SHSs have been fumigated and disinfected.
Just as was done in the case of final year university, JHS and SHS students, the government says all JHS 2 and SHS 2 students, as well as all teaching and non-teaching staff, will be given reusable face masks.
Each school will be provided with Veronica Buckets, gallons of liquid soap, rolls of tissue paper, thermometer guns, and 200 milli-litre containers of sanitisers.
JHS 2 students will be given one hot meal a day.
Assemblies and sporting events remain banned, and the use by outsiders of school premises for other activities is still not allowed.
The schools were closed down to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking on the reopening, NAGRAT President Angel Carbonu, said: “The crisis came in March and April, May, June, July, August, September; we are talking about six months and I can tell you that the first three months, we were all confused, even from the presidency to the last citizen of this country, we were all confused until such a time that we started finding our feet and we also have to thank madam nature that the crisis did not hit us very hard in comparison with our brothers and sisters in Europe and in Asia”.
“So, we are beginning to find our feet in how to relate and adapt to this crisis as it has come.
“The interpersonal relationship, the close relationship between teachers and students is no longer going to be what it used to be.
“We are very concerned with the SHS students and even with the BECE students. The COVID-19 protocols; whether the PPE are in the schools and whether they are adequate because I understand what is happening in Europe is that there is a second spike and a second wave of the disease, so, we don’t want that situation to happen here”, he said.
He said: “Schools are reopening, parents are apprehensive, teachers are apprehensive, students are psychologically traumatised; let it begin and see how it goes”.