The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has described as necessary, the reopening of Basic schools across Ghana amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to GNAT, the decision to reopen Basic schools nationwide was long overdue.
Basic schools across Ghana were reopened on Monday, January 18, 2021. They had been closed down since March 15, 2020 following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Ghana.
The closure of the schools last year was aimed at preventing the spread of Coronavirus in Ghana.
But as the schools reopened at a time the virus was once again fast spreading across Ghana, there is fear among some members of the public that students could be infected in schools.
However, the General Secretary of GNAT, Thomas Musah, has stated that reopening of schools, even for basic school pupils, was in the right direction.
According to him, “It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the concerns that have so far been raised. However, I can tell you on authority that if you take a look at the Ghana Living Standard Survey, we have a little over 31 million people in Ghana now, and a considerable number of them fall around the 4-year bracket. The challenge now is that, if these children do not go to school now, they will turn 5 by the close of the year and I can tell you on authority, some of them will end up as child labourers. ”
“The Ghana Living Standard already tells us that out of every 5 children, one is into child labour. Thus, we will be losing out on the gains we are making in nipping this canker in the bud. Time will not permit me to delve into the effect closure of schools will have on teenage girls, taking into consideration recent reports on teenage pregnancies,” he said.
He said “We are also looking at the fact that 56% of our human capital resource will go waste in the next 13 years. That is why, despite the challenges with COVID-19, we need to get this done”.
By Melvin Tarlue