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GES, PTA must reach a consensus before reopening of schools – Africa Education Watch

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has been cautioned to hold off the reopening of schools in the country, as the lives of teachers, students, and staff will be put at risk due to the continuous increase in Covid-19 cases.

A statement signed by the Executive Director for Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare also demanded that the Service halts its recommendation of opening schools to government.

The caution follows a letter from GES suggesting that the body has launched a stakeholder consultation to provide President Akufo-Addo with measures to be taken ahead of a possible reopening of all basic and senior high schools.

President Akufo-Addo during his first national address in March 2019 shut down all schools across the country and imposed a ban on social gathering to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The directive, was again extended to the end of May, awaiting review with stakeholders.

In view of this, GES in a letter dated May 13, 2020, and signed by Director-General, Kwasi Opoku–Amankwa urged all stakeholders including leadership of teacher bodies to contribute their ideas on how the schools can ensure there is safety and maximum security if pupils are allowed to come back to school.

But condemning this initiative, the Africa Education Watch said more consultation between the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the School Management Committee (SMC) must be held.

They argued that without consensus from parents and local communities, any attempt to reopen schools will result in low patronage as many parents will not send their children back.

The organisation said difficulties in maintaining social distancing, water, sanitation and hygiene logistical constraints among others in the various schools must all be addressed before a decision to reopen schools across the country is reached.

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