Nana Ofori Owusu, Director of Operations for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), has expressed worry over the reopening of schools for final year students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Nana Ofori Owusu, asking the students to go back to their various schools in this crucial season of COVID-19 may endanger more lives and also create fear and panic in their homes.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, delivering his eleventh update on COVID-19, reiterated that final year tertiary students will resume school on Monday, June 15, 2020, while those at the Junior High Schools resume on June 29, and the Senior High Schools on 22nd June.
“From tomorrow, Monday, 15th June, the last batch of institutions in this phased approach, our educational institutions, will begin to re-open, with final year students in our tertiary colleges and universities returning to school to prepare for and take their exit examinations. As has been stated, final year Senior High School (SHS 3) students, together with SHS 2 Gold Track students, will resume on 22nd June; and final-year junior high school (JHS 3) students, the week after, on 29th June. The decision to include our schools in phase one of the easing of restrictions was taken advisedly,” the President said.
But Nana Ofori Owusu has cautioned the President and the stakeholders in the education sector to reconsider their decision.
He asked how the President expects the students and their lecturers to stay safe and free of the virus infections when they cannot determine their health status especially now that research has proven that some COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic.
Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’, Nana Ofori Owusu appealed to the President to go for an alternative given by the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh which suggests that the final year students could be graded using their continuous assessment.
This, to him, is a better option than opening the schools because if the students are to be graded based on their continuous assessment, there will be no need for final examinations.
He echoed the President’s statement that ”we’re not in normal times”, hence ”I am pleading that, with the Hon. Minister’s own alternative solution to the problem that he enumerated and it made perfect sense, I plead that we look at that option and push that option onto the children”.