The Ghana Education Service (GES) has justified the government’s decision to postpone the reopening of schools to January 2021.
President Akufo-Addo, in his 16th COVID-19 update to Ghanaians on Sunday, 30 September 2020, announced that “the decision has been taken by the Ghana Education Service, after consultation with the relevant stakeholders, for SHS 2 and JHS 2 students to return to school from 5th October to 14th December 2020 to complete their academic year”.
He, however, noted that the remainder of the academic year for all nursery, kindergarten, primary, JHS1 and SHS1 students had been postponed to January 2021.
Some private schools have kicked against the move, insisting they can keep the children safe, hence they should be allowed back in school
But justifying the government’s decision, the Deputy Director-General in charge of Management Services at the Ghana Education Service, Anthony Boateng, explained that: “Kindergarten one (KG1) to class three (P3) pupils cannot go to school because their curriculum is to be taught primarily through play”.
“In fact, their sitting arrangements, their interactions in the classroom, whatever they do, revolves around play and interaction and that’s contact, and under COVID-19, the primary role everybody is expected to play now is to keep social-distancing.”
He continued: “It was going to be very difficult to teach these children minus play, and again, at that age, KG1 at age 4, how do you expect them to wear a mask? How do you expect them to keep social distancing? We are looking at a the situation where at that level somebody will even pull somebody’s mask and don’t forget that at the basic school level sometimes the population could be that large and in some areas the type of infrastructure that we have, how do we spread out? So, we found that it will be more challenging.”