Following the opening of schools, effective Monday 18 January, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pleaded with students and pupils returning to school to comply strictly with the COVID-19 protocols to avoid a shut down of schools a second time.
According to him, closing down schools presented a setback to the future of students, therefore, he is pledging to do his best to keep the education of students going.
Addressing the nation on Sunday, January 17, 2021, Akufo-Addo indicated all stakeholders in the educational front must also ensure that they comply with the protocols outlined to tackle the novel Coronavirus.
“I now wish to speak directly to the students and children returning to school, and those of you who have already returned. I know that, for most of you, 2020 was a very unfamiliar year, and presented a setback for your preparation for the future. You all saw the struggle your parents, especially working parents, went through with you at home due to school closures. You also know how you struggled to learn from home, even for those of you lucky enough to continue with some of your classes online. The frustrations, the idleness, the absence of classroom or study group intimacy – it has all been extremely difficult for you, your parents, teachers and everybody involved. This is something we should all try to put behind us. Much of that depends on you,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He added, “As we take these big steps to go back to school, your attitude, your behaviour, your self-discipline will decide whether or not our schools will remain open. I am pleading with you, please observe the COVID-19 protocols at all times. You must maintain the level of discipline and sense of responsibility to stop the virus from spreading in your schools and, for day students, at home, as well. Wear your masks at all times. Wash and sanitize your hands regularly. Protect yourself. Protect each other. Protect your teachers. Protect your parents. But, please, do not give me a reason to close down schools again. I pledge to do my best to keep your education going. I want you to assure me, your parents, your teachers and society as a whole, through your actions, that you will do your part as well.”
Akufo-Addo also disclosed that the nation’s active case count has risen to 1,924.
He stated that he does not intend to lock down the country again due to the Coronavirus.
“…We have seen an upsurge in the number of active cases, from a little over 900 to 1,924. Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections.
“We do not want to go back to the days of partial lockdowns, which had a negative impact on our economy and our way of life. But should that become necessary, i.e., should the number of active cases continue to increase at the current rate, I will have no option but to re-impose these restrictions because it is better to be safe than to be sorry. So together, let us all ensure that we respect the protocols,” he said.
Closure of schools
President Akufo-Addo on March 15, 2020, announced as part of the government’s measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19, the closure of schools in the country.
Nine months after, during his 21st address to the nation, Akufo-Addo announced the opening of schools for basic education students on 15th January.
Many pundits have, however, expressed anxiety over the possible spread of the virus in schools as Ghana’s cases increase.