The COVID-19 pandemic has proved itself to be a real threat to humanity. When the coronavirus was first reported out of China, most people didn’t take it seriously. But that all changed once the virus spread to other countries in the world.
March of 2020 was a month that changed everyone’s lives forever. Like the leaders of many nations, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo gave the order to close all the schools in his country indefinitely. It was part of a lockdown measure to prevent children from contracting the coronavirus by avoiding close contact with each other.
Businesses and schools were forced to shut down too. It left the poor people of Ghana to fend for themselves. Parents continued struggling to make a living, while children missed out on their education. Times were challenging in Ghana for nearly nine months. People turned to Ghana Talks Radio for the latest news about the coronavirus and any information about when schools would reopen.
Unlike western children, most Ghanaian children don’t have the luxury of getting an online education rather than an in-class education. So, they remained out of options for their education until the lockdown got lifted.
School Resumes in Ghana
On January 4th, 2021, Ghana News reported that President Akufo-Addo wanted Ghanaian students to return to school very soon. He ordered all primary schools, kindergartens, and junior high schools to reopen its doors to students on January 15th, 2021. Senior high school students were allowed back in school on January 18th, 2021.
President Akufo-Addo made the announcement as he updated the Ghanaian people about the current state of COVID-19 in Ghana. Approximately 55,168 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Ghana so far. Out of those 55,168 cases, 335 people died from health complications related to the coronavirus. It might seem like many cases, but you have to remember that Ghana has 30.42 million people. The chances of someone contracting the coronavirus in Ghana are still quite low.
For this reason, it was a wise decision for President Akufo-Addo to send Ghanaian children back to school. Since the coronavirus infection rates are minimal in Ghana, it would be more harmful to keep the children out of school longer. They need an excellent education to enhance their lives and pull themselves out of poverty.
President Akufo-Addo stated that he’d make sure the schools are better equipped to manage the virus and keep students safe. He directed the Ministry of Education to fumigate every school before the students come back. Necessary safety measures, such as social distancing, will also be enforced in the schools. The president believes it is safe for students to return now.
The New School Guidelines
President Akufo-Addo and the Ministry of Education have established specific guidelines that schools must follow to stay open. The guidelines are as follows:
- Secondary high schools cannot have more than 25 students per class.
- Junior high schools cannot have more than 30 students per class.
- School students, teachers and staff members must all wear face masks.
- Schools must stay equipped with a vast supply of liquid soap, buckets, tissue paper rolls, 200ml sanitizer containers, and thermometer guns.
- Sporting events cannot take place on school grounds.
- Junior high school students must be allowed one hot meal per day.
The academic curriculum will remain the same. Students are disappointed about the restrictions on sporting events. It is incredibly frustrating that beaches, nightclubs and other relaxation centres are closed too. If anything, good comes from this, it will give students more time to devote to their academic studies.
No COVID-19 Variant Reported
Western countries are developing vaccines to protect people from COVID-19 infections. The hope is that children can receive the vaccinations and go to school without any worries of getting infected.
The problem is that the vaccines only work to prevent an infection of the current coronavirus strain. There are now coronavirus mutations in countries around the world. These strains have different proteins and antigens than the original coronavirus strain. As a result, a separate vaccine must get developed to control the spread of each new strain.
According to Ghana Radio Stations, no COVID-19 variants have been reported in Ghana as of yet. However, many Ghanaians are still worried about COVID-19 variants because other African countries seem to have them now. Two of which include South Africa and Nigeria.
If Ghana were ever to get a new coronavirus strain, it could cause another lockdown to occur. But for now, it seems like Ghana is taking the proper safety precautions to avoid more infections. Perhaps it will put Ghana ahead of other African countries dealing with a far worse outbreak of the coronavirus.