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Opinions of Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Columnist: Ekow Djan

Teachers must be classified as frontline workers as school resumes amidst coronavirus

A file photo of a teacher in the classroom A file photo of a teacher in the classroom

Ghanaian teachers are expected to be at post as school resumes on Friday 15th January 2020 following President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s directive a fortnight ago.

Schools have been shut for over ten (10) months since the breakdown of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

Since March 2020, some workers have at a point been classified as frontline and essential workers— they include Health and Security service workers— which came with some monetary benefits.

They were classified as such because they had a special role(s) to play in the fight against the pandemic.

In fact, Junior/ Senior High School teachers were, at a point, directed to see the efficient preparation of pupils and students for their WASCE/BECE. In times where COVID-19 cases were on the rise, teachers risked their lives, accepted the call and willingly went to school without any form of motivation from the government.

Here we are again, teachers have been asked to go to work. Amongst their duties is to educate and take care of the pupils/students. Teachers will serve as the first point of call should any pupil feel unwell. Teachers would have no option than to attend to the child without knowing the status of the said child —whether he has been infected with coronavirus or not.

This is a huge risk teachers would have to face in the coming days. In all these, no PPEs and vaccines have been provided.

The lives of teachers, their friends and families are in danger. In other jurisdictions, such as the US, teachers have been classified as frontline workers.

It will be in the supreme interest of the entire citizenry to classify teachers as frontline workers. At least, they deserve to be motivated!