The Ministry of Education says it takes an exception to the locking out of some final year students of the Suhum Senior High and Technical School (SUTESCO) by the school authorities on the grounds of reporting late for reopening.
As part of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and in preparation for their final exams, final year students of senior high schools were to report to school on Monday, June 22, 2020. However, reports on Monday indicated that some students of SUTESCO were prevented from entering their school because they reported past the official time of the day they were to report.
According to some of the students who arrived in the company of their parents, even though they reported earlier as expected, they were asked to go back and trim their bushy hair before they will be permitted to make entry into the school. They said upon their return from the barbering salon, they were again prevented from going into the school because it was past 5:00 pm.
Speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb, a Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Education Ministry, Kwasi Oben-Fosu said even though the action by the school’s authorities was within their rules, current circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic makes it a wrong call.
“We are not in normal times, you can’t expect to apply the normal rules and expect to get the best of results in these times of corona. So if there are rules we know that will not help us we need to change those rules to ensure students are safe under our care,” Mr. Oben-Fosu remarked.
He said the idea of sending the students back to town to shave posed danger to the students as it puts them in the position to contract COVID-19.
“As I said, we are not in normal times so we don’t even expect any school to ask children to go to town to barber. The moment you ask the child to go back to town to barber, you don’t know whom the child is going to get into contact with. That is wrong in the first place, it is wrong to do that. If there is any way you can arrange for people to get the barbering done in school, I think that will be the best thing. But to allow the children to leave school and go back to town is not the best thing. Remember according to the directives the moment the child gets to the school even the parents are not allowed to visit them,” he lamented.
He added that the Ministry of Education through the Ghana Education Service has launched investigations into the matter to unravel the circumstance leading to the incident and will proffer sanctions if necessary.
“We have asked the regional Education Office to go in, investigate the issue, and find out what went wrong. I believe after a report has been issued whatever sanction or action that must be taken will be done,” he said.