The Ministry of Education has downplayed the possibility of sanctioning heads of Senior High Schools where some final year students who allegedly reported to school late were left stranded after they were denied entry.
The students allegedly arrived at the school gates after 5 pm when the authorities had closed for the day and official opening hours had ended.
On Monday, all final year students were directed to return to school after almost 3 months after government eased some restrictions it imposed on movement due to COVID-19.
There were reports of chaos at the Suhum Technical Secondary School while at the Sekondi College students were only allowed in after 8 pm following the intervention of the Municipal Chief Executive of Effie-Kwesimintsim, Kojo Acquah and the Municipal Director of Education.
However, in an interview with a Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Kwesi Obeng-Fosu, he explained directives from the Ministry only contain the date of reopening and not the times students are to report or times for schools to close their gates.
Kwesi Obeng-Fosu noted that after engaging the heads of the affected schools it was established that the school authorities expected the final year students, who were continuing students to abide by existing rules and regulations which they are aware of.
“Yesterday night we received reports from certain areas of the country that is from Eastern and Central Region specifically. I think about two schools. The students came, they were not allowed in because they got to the gate after 5 pm. They got to the gate late.”
“Schools have their own regulations. From the Ministry and GES we didn’t set anytime for students to report. We only announce dates of reopening of schools, we don’t add time. What school management told us was that these are continuing students and they know when the schools close their dates and so they should know when school gates are closed.”
After further deliberations, Kwesi Obeng-Fosu mentioned that the Ministry has directed schools to relax their rules and regulations to avoid students massing up like was witnessed on Monday night.
The PRO stated, “That not withstanding we are not in normal times, so we got in tuch with them and told them to be flexible so that we can avid the situation where students will come and mass up at the gates.”