Coronavirus: Tension as government fail to shutdown schools in Ghana

Why schools are not close in ghana
Students of Obaladan in Ghana/ source twitter

Panic in Ghana as parents continues to call on the government to close schools due to the continuous spread of coronavirus pandemic.

The National Association of Parents and Teachers (NCPTAs) says children are in a state of panic hearing about their friends who have been tested positive of the COVID-19 virus.

Alexander Yaw Danso, president of the NCPTA, told BBC Pidgin: “Ghana has started with one to two cases, and now there are 24,000 cases. Do they want us to wait until September?”

He added: “The biggest frustration is that students are not tested for the virus … how will they know if they are infected without been tested?”

Concerns were raised after reports that 55 people, including students and teachers at Accra Girls’ Senior High School, had contracted coronavirus.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Department of Education (GES) issued a joint statement, stating that out of 314 people tested for the disease, 55 were infected.

GES said they will continue to conduct tests with nurses and follow up with carriers of the virus in schools across the country.

GES spokesperson Cassandra Twum Ampofo said, “we have identified and quarantine those who have come in contact with those infected from other students”.

GES says closing schools is not a good thing at the moment.

“From the way we handle the situation, sending students home is not a good idea,” said Cassandra Ampofo.

Reasons given by GES for refusing to close schools

  • The students were in the dormitories because they were trying to write their final exams
  • It is better to let them in schools than to send them home because they will be better cared for here
  • The government will make it easier to track down those who deal with victims and take care of their owners
  • Being students come from different parts of the country, if allowed to return home they will infect their local communities with the disease

Despite calls from the National Association of Parents and Teachers (NCPTAs), the Board of Education (GES) says it is responsible for supervising students who are preparing to write their final exams.