Schools in Ghana have reopened for the 2020/2021 calendar after ten months of closure with temperature checks and the wearing of masks mandatory to check the spread of the coronavirus.
The shutdown of the academic calendar was in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus in March last year, with the country’s education ministry and other stakeholders striving to ensure adherence to health protocols.
“We don’t make time for learning unless maybe those students who are passionate and know what they really want to do. So going back to school is really helpful. It’s going to allow us to restart everything and we are going to get our academic life back on track”, Stephen Anyetei, a student said.
There are mixed reactions as the government announced the reopening of schools a forth night ago. It comes as covid-19 cases have reportedly surged in the West African nation.
“It will affect their education background. The children, some of them have even forgotten there is something called school. And it is now our duty to bring them up, to invite them, psychologically, mentally and everything”, Isabella Essel, a headmistress said.
The tally of currently-infected people has nearly doubled in a month, to 1,924, according to Ghana’s Health Service. The overall figure of infections since the start of the pandemic is 58,000, but this is widely believed to be conservative as testing is low.
On Sunday, President Nana Akufo-Addo warned that the country may return to a partial lockdown if residents do not adhere to safety and health protocols.
“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 an upsurge in infections,” he said.
Meanwhile, private schools have increased fees for the 2020/2021 academic year. A move that has raised concerns among parents and guardians.