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Yaw Adutwum: We won’t suspend the school year for COVID-19

Deputy Education Minister Adutwum says government is keenly aware of parents’ concern but can assure them that officials are taking all feasible health precautions

The Deputy Education Minister in charge of pre-tertiary education, Yaw Adutwum, has once again explained the government’s stance of not halting the education calendar.

Dr Adutwum was speaking on Asaase Radio’s Friday-night current affairs programme, Town Hall Talk.

“When the president said that schools must reopen, he was very aware that some students may test positive due to the incubation period of the virus,” the deputy minister said.

There have been growing calls from the general public for the Education Service to close junior and senior high schools because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases recorded at some basic schools. Schools reopened last month to final-year JHS and SHS students, together with the gold-track JHS2 cohort.

“We understand the frustrations of parents,” said Dr Adutwum, “but would want to assure them that the government will do everything possible to ensure the safety of all students in the country.”

Copy cat

He argued that although other countries such as Nigeria and Kenya have reversed their decisions to resume school activities, that is not enough reason for Ghana to do the same thing.

“Every country is looking at the best practice it can implement to avoid higher incidence of the disease, knowing that when the students return to school, the responsibility is on us to protect them,” Dr Adutwum said.

The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, also announced on Thursday that the government has ordered a COVID 19 subcommittee to ensure that safety protocols are adhered to at the various senior high schools. Among other things, the committee is to ensure that schools adhere strictly to the guidelines on COVID safety.

Addressing the press as he gave the Ministry of Information’s twice-weekly update on the COVID 19 case count, Oppong Nkrumah encouraged parents to channel their grievances to the COVID-19 call centres, rather than rushing to schools to withdraw their wards.

Karen Dodoo

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