Director-General for the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku Amankwa has clarified a directive issued by the Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh to the effect that all final year students of boarding operating schools, regardless of their status, will be confined in the boarding house once school eventually resumes.
The Education Minister, while issuing the guidelines for the easing of the restrictions on schools by the President to allow for final year students to go back to school suggested that all students, including day students will be made to stay in the boarding house. That, he explained, was to reduce the risk of students contracting the novel coronavirus and possibly leading to an outbreak in the schools.
“Senior High Schools will reopen on the 22nd of June and all day students in boarding schools will be accepted as boarders. For pure day schools, there will be enhanced protocols look after the children. We are not going to provide buses for them because the health experts tell us that the bus is too cluttered a space,” Dr Opoku Prempeh said.
The announcement by the Minister generated some level of anxiety among a section of the Ghanaian parents who feared the directive will endanger their children due to the assembling of students from various homes in the schools. Others have also vowed not to allow their wards to go to school if that is the case.
But Professor Opoku-Amankwa has explained that being in the boarding house will not be made compulsory.
He indicated that the only objective of authorities is to ensure that students prepare adequately for their imminent exams under the best of health protocols against the global disease.
If that can be ensured by parents while their children commute to school on a daily basis, the GES boss says it is allowed.
“If for any reason a parent feels they don’t want their child in the boarding house, it is not compulsory. We don’t want to impose it on anybody to create problems. All we need is for the students to come and study at the scheduled time in preparation for the exams. And so if there is any reason why you can’t allow your ward to come and you can ensure their maximum safety and that of the school, that is okay,” he said in an interview monitored by ABC News.
Prof Opoku Amankwa however indicated that if the opportunity is abused, then the directive will be made mandatory.
Meanwhile, he is warning heads of the various Senior High Schools against issuing prospectus to students or compelling them to buy any item to school on the basis of their boarder statuses.