IFEST Calls On Prez Akufo-Addo To Ease Restrictions On Schools

The Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) has raised concerns over the continuous closure of schools in the country.

Schools in Ghana have been closed for months since the outbreak of the COVID-19.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced restrictions on public gatherings to safeguard Ghanaians and the ban therefore meant that school children would take lessons from their various homes.

In view of continuing the academic calendar while schools remain closed, Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service have introduced E-learning to ensure school children utilize the digital platforms for active studies.

The President is expected to give a 10th nation address on Sunday, May 31, 2020 and already there are predictions that he might ease the public gathering restrictions.

Due to the possible lift of the ban on public gatherings, there are discussions on whether or not schools should be allowed to resume activities.

According to the Executive Director of IFEST, Peter Anti Partey, it is about time stakeholders in the education sector  and the government devised ways to ensure that school children return back to their classrooms but continue to observe the safety protocols regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Anti Partey noted that the nation needs to get back to normality despite the cases of the pandemic disease in the country.

To the IFEST Executive Director, no one knows when the pandemic will be over or when a vaccine will be discovered but the government needs to take a bold step because in as much as the situation is sketchy and dicey, things can still get back to normal with the right measures in place.

"In the midst of these challenges, I think what we're all trying to look at is how best can we navigate around these challenges so that in the case where we're not sure when this thing will go away, how can we navigate around this looking at best practices, looking at what other countries are doing so that we will be able to make sure that we can reopen schools especially in phases or stages to ensure the children don't contract the virus or in the case where someone is infected, we can minimize the spread," he said.

Although he wasn't emphatic when schools should reopen, he however told host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' that "although the issue at hand is very critical which borders on the health and the life of the child, the continuous closure of the schools has a lot of impact on the child's living that if you don't find ways and means to mitigate that particular impact and adopt processes, especially in a situation where you don't when the pandemic is going to end; if care is not taken, you would end up causing more harm to the generation to come than you would envisage".