The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has insisted it is in the best interest of the nation for kids at the Kindergarten (KG) level to be allowed to resume school.
According to GNAT, the country has about 461,000 kids aged four (4) who would be entering the KG level in the 2021 academic year and if they are not given the opportunity to start school, they will be roped into child labour.
The General Secretary for GNAT, Musah Thomas speaking on the re-opening of schools on Friday, 15th January, 2021 indicated, “these four-year-olds have to go to school and partake in my 1st day at school. If that doesn’t happen, two things will happen to them.
First, the kids will be 5 years in 2022 and would have passed their formative years academically. If that happens, it’ll be difficult for them to understand concepts as students. Also, every one (1) out of five (5) kids of school-going age ends up in child labour. If these kids are not allowed to go to school in the 2021 academic year, the incidence of child labour will increase exponentially”.
Musah Thomas made this known in an interview with Samuel Eshun, host of the Happy Morning show aired on e.TVGhana and Happy 98.9 FM.
Reiterating the importance of schools resuming, Thomas added that after the closure of schools in March about fifty-one (51) girls had become pregnant and “this is data is from one district”.
To him, allowing children of school-going age to stay at home out of fear of the COVID-19 pandemic will only create a big problem for the nation.
“If we allow the kids to stay home, it’ll be a big problem for us. We need to protect the kids, their education and Ghana’s future. It is true it is a difficult situation, but there are some measures
We can put in place to protect the kids.
If we only look at the challenges presented to us and say the kids should be prevented from going to school, it’ll have dire consequences on the nation”, he reiterated.
He motioned, the world is in abnormal times and it is important everyone goes back to their normal lives. “We must do everything to get back to our normal lives”.
He described education as a means to open up the minds and refine kids of school-going age.
President Akufo-Addo in his 21st COVID-19 update on January 3, 2021, announced that students at all levels should resume school after consultations with key stakeholders.
However, the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) has opposed the directive, calling for the suspension of the reopening of schools for students at the Kindergarten and Primary levels.