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Regional News of Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Source: adongo a. fatawu

'Schools are closed but it’s not a holiday'

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Savana Signatures, a non-governmental organisation based in Ghana in partnership with Edukans International are implementing a timely COVID-19 response project in Ghana.

The intervention will provide guidance to parents during this pandemic, make sure every child goes back to school after the COVID-19 crisis and would provide social and emotional support to teachers and pupils during this crisis.

Through this project, Savana Signatures and Edukans International are working with selected media houses and other CSOs to contribute to mitigate the social consequences of the pandemic.

This response to the COVID-19 crisis is dubbed “Schools are closed but it’s not a holiday” and is currently being implemented in three regions of Ghana; Volta, North-East and Northern Regions.

The daily radio programme is aired on Kuul FM (Ho, Volta Region) at 10:00 am, Lorlornya FM (Hohoe, Volta Region) at 12:30 pm, Eagle FM (Walewale, North East Region) at 12:30 pm and Radio Tamale (Tamale, Northern Region) at 1:00 pm.

Every broadcasting day, there are special guests invited to the studio: Children on Mondays, Youth on Tuesdays, Parents on Wednesdays, Teachers on Thursdays and a radio drama broadcast on Friday.

According to the Executive Director of Savana Signatures Mr John Stephen Agbenyo, the Project is implemented to; help parents navigate these turbulent times especially because of the “stay home” directive and closure of schools, to ensure no child remains at home after schools reopen and to help teachers and their pupils to remain in the right frame of mind whiles waiting to go back to school.

He pointed out that Savana Signatures and Edukans International are reaching out to parents through radio broadcasting in Ghanaian local languages.

“Parents are guided on how to assist their wards to study at home, help them in their homework, and how to stay healthy by adhering to the safety measures,” he said.

Mr Agbenyo stressed the need to make sure every child goes back to school after the COVID-19 crisis, adding that, many children in Ghana especially in rural communities perceive “staying at home” as a holiday, hence resort to unproductive activities to the detriment of their studies.

“The project, Schools are closed but it’s not a holiday is a wake-up call to parents and children to spend more time learning as if they are in school. The project stresses the importance of education, parental care and guidance as well as the need to go back to school as soon as schools reopen” he added.

Also, he highlighted that the project seeks to provide social and emotional support to teachers and pupils during this crisis by educating teachers and children on how to take care of their mental well-being including how to deal with feelings of fear and despair during the stay at home period.

Mr Agbenyo reiterated that “this is not the time to work in isolation. These overwhelming numbers of children need our help. Savana Signatures needs collective support to guide parents, support teachers and children and to make sure the educational deficit is minimized as much as possible”.