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General News of Wednesday, 30 December 2020


Open schools in phases – GNAT to govt

File photo: Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) File photo: Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT)

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) will be meeting the Ghana Education Service GES today in what has been explained as a crucial meeting to discuss the future of students.

The decision to whether reopen schools or not will depend on the outcome of that meeting for which the Minister of Education is expected to be in attendance.

President Akufo Addo is also expected to meet Cabinet today, Wednesday, 30th December, 2020 for the same reason after which a decision would be taken on whether to allow the children to go to school.

The President of GNAT Philippa Larsen who revealed the said meeting to Host of the 3FM Sunrise Morning Show, Alfred Ocansey said; “My General Secretary will be in that meeting to represent the association. But our position is this: Latter part of last year when the President announced that schools will reopen in January, the cases had gone down drastically so with the cases going up, today’s discussion will inform what decision should be taken. We have to look at class sizes in various schools and infrastructure as to whether all schools should be reopened fully”.

According to her, “Today’s meeting backed by data from the Ghana Health Service will inform the President on the decision to take. You know that we are all concerned about our safety and protection and so today’s meeting will decide as to whether schools should reopen in phases. In fact for me if I have my own way to take a decision I will even suggest that schools should be opened in phases because of the cases that are going up.

“Like it happened during the examinations time where finally the final year students were in schools after that the form 2’s were in schools on 7 December when they vacated for Christmas so these are the issues we will be looking at”.

According to her, the safety of the Ghanaian teacher is paramount. She said “If we are going to open in phases then the number of children must be looked at per each class and so we expect cabinet to consider all these”.

Meanwhile, a Lead Researcher at the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research, KCCR, Dr Augustine Sylverken seems to back this suggestion as she calls for gradual reopening of schools.

“If I am asked to advise the President I think it will be prudent to do some level of phase reopening. And even when you get to that phase reopening you may want the kids to spend less time in school,” she said.