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General News of Wednesday, 27 May 2020


Don't hasten to reopen schools; we need time - Prof Agyekum to Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo play videoPresident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The Dean of the School of Performing Arts of the University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Kofi Agyekum is calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to extend the closure of schools in the country.

According to Professor Kofi Agyekum, popularly known as Opanyin Agyekum, it will be a hasty decision on the part of the government to allow schools to resume while the country is still saddled with the pandemic.

Contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo'', Opanyin Agyekum explained that although the closure of schools has been characterized by challenges because not every school child or the family of a school child can afford the digital gadgets to ensure continuous education albeit through virtual learning platforms created by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, thus impacting negatively on the pupil, it is not as grave as losing a life.

Opanyin Agyekum alluded to an incident that occurred in 1984 where Universities were closed for a year but the tertiary institutions bounced back afterwards to continue the academic calendar, and so believed that nothing will be destroyed if schools are not opened any time soon.

He, however, stated that should government decide school children should resume classroom lessons, adequate preparations and measures should be installed to ensure they do not contract the COVID-19 disease or the spread is curtailed in case a student is infected.

He asked the government to roll out detailed steps to ensure safety of both the school children and teachers adding that teachers should be given a psychological therapy before they go to the classrooms to teach the students.

To him, the reopening should only involve final year students and not the entire student population because, with the final year students, there will adequate classrooms to ensure social distancing.

But in his candid opinion, schools should remain closed till the pandemic curve has flattened and the country has gained strength to overcome the disease.

''We shouldn't be in a hurry because if one child loses his or her life, we cannot bring the child back to life. It can't be likened to closing and reopening schools. There are times that we have strikes and schools are closed for a month and the students go home but we are able to resume school too...We have to wait and check the data and science. Let's wait when the recovery cases increase maximally and we know everything is going alright, then we can allow for the reopening of schools...We need time.'' the learned professor advised.