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Schools will only be opened when it’s safe to do so – Education Minister

Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has asked Ghanaians not to put pressure on government to reopen schools in the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to him, schools will only be reopened when it’s safe and right to do so to prevent more spread of the virus.

Speaking on the impact of the coronavirus on Ghana’s education, the Education Minister said government will take the necessary steps to open the schools based on the available data at hand and won’t be rushed to do something that will have adverse effects on citizens and the economy.

He explained that “Schools will be reopened (until) when it is safe to do so. The President and the cabinet will make the decisions when it is most appropriate to do so…What we are saying is that we have to observe the data, even if we are opening schools, a lot of our students are foreign students in our universities now, what plans are we making if they are going to come back? Are we going to test them and quarantine them? There are a lot of things we have to go through and we will make the decision and the decision cannot be just going back to school.”

In addition, he stressed that government will have to take certain factors like the provision o veronica buckets, sanitizers, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), among other things, into consideration before it finally decides to reopen them.

Citing how one of Ghana’s first cases of COVID-19 was a student of the University of Ghana, where over 100 students had to be quarantined as a result of that, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh said government won’t risk reopening schools to the detriment of many lives.

“If schools are going to be opened, you would expect Veronica buckets and sanitizers and masks to be made available. You expect the schools to have been sprayed of COVID, these are things that we should do before opening schools, because we do recall that one of our first cases happened in a university campus that over a 100 students had to be quarantined. So it is just most likely that when you go back to school and you haven’t taken those decisions, the virus will start breeding amongst the healthy population and one or two can succumb which will lead to a panic situation so we have to get ahead of the virus and make sure that it is safe,” he said.

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