Covid-19: Teacher unions in Ghana want schools to remain closed

File photo: A female teacher teaching science to a classroom of students at a primary school, Ghana, West Africa, Africa

Pre-tertiary teacher unions across Ghana are prioritizing the safety and health of pupils and their members in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The four teacher Unions have thus launched a desperate appeal for schools to remain shut even if the government eased social gathering restrictions.

In a letter written to the Director General of the Ghana Education Service the unions stated that they “would not ascribe to the reopening of the schools should the President of the Republic decides not to extend the 31st May, 2020 deadline and order the reopening of the schools.”

The four teacher unions are the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana (CCT-GH) and the Teachers and Education Workers Union (TEWU).

The groups warned that: “The spread [of the virus in Ghana is still very exponential, and given the fact that our [Ghanaian] schools could still be incubation centres of the pandemic, and given the unlimited social interactions and movements which take place there.”

They argue that measures to prevent the spread of the virus would be difficult to adhere to in Ghana’s schools.

“The class sizes and dormitory population are still large, thus not making the observation of social distancing possible.”

The unions further explained that “considering the age and exuberance of our students one cannot be sure that they [students] will adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocol hence the fear that the disease may spread in the schools.”

The teacher unions also want the government to address among others the non-availability of potable water, face/nose masks, alcohol-based sanitiser and soap to help teachers and students adhere to prescribed protocols.

Ghana’s Covid-19 case count stands at 5,735 with 29 deaths and over 1,700 recoveries.

By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH

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