Education

Parents, students hail nationwide school closures

Educational institutions have been closed down in compliance with the directive by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as part of efforts to help contain and stem further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID- 19).

At the time the Ghanaian Times visited some schools, students were seen leaving with the boxes while others were preparing to leave.

At Fadama Cluster of schools in the Okaikoi North Constituency, students were already out of the school following the President’s directive.

However, final year students were seen studying in the classrooms as at the time of the visit.

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times, the Headmistress of the school, did not disclose her name said the decision to close down the school was in compliance with the directive by the President and the Ghana Education Service.

At Odorgornor Senior High School (SHS), Students were also seen packing their luggages to return home while others were seen with their parent’s who had come to pick their wards.

The headmaster of the school, Mr Patrick Mensah told Ghanaian Times that it was necessary for them to adhere to the government’s directives since the COVID-19 had been declared as a pandemic.

He said final year students are however staying behind to write their mock examination.

He said the school would put in precautionary measures to protect the final year students left behind.

“Soap with water and hand sanitizers would be place at vantage points at the school to help students wash their hands regularly to prevent them from getting the virus,” he said.

 “Not only that we would also educate them on how to keep themselves from contracting the virus when they get to their various dormitories and other social gatherings.”

Francis Ntim Kojo-Mensah Aprampah Acheampong a student who was seen with his luggage said, though they have been asked to go home, he was not scared about the announcement but only feared for his father who is security personnel at Labadi Beach Hotel.

A Nigerian student Jake Ade-Owaire said, “I was a bit scared when we were told to go home. I’m scared for my relatives in Nigeria. They have been trooping in and out to China for business and I’m afraid for them because of the virus.”

However, at Central University, Mateheko campus, lecture halls were closed.

Students have been asked to leave campus. However, international students are allowed to stay until further notice, Dr Ben Okyere a lecturer of the school said.

Meanwhile Ghanaian Times noticed that, they had nstituted precaution measures by providing hand sanitizer at the reception of the school for visitors who troop into the school.

From Bolgatanga, Samuel Akapule reports that following President Akufo-Addo’s order for the closure of all schools and universities all basic and second cycle institutions in the Upper East Region have been closed down.

Among the Senior High Schools, the Ghanaian Times visited included the Bolgatanga Technical Institute Bolgatanga Senior High School, Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School, Navrongo Senior School, Zamse Senior High Technical School and Zuarungu Senior High School.

Except the form three students, the school authorities sent the entire form one and two students’ home in compliance with the President’s directive.

The situation was not different with that of the basic schools as all the basic schools visited spotted no school sessions. 

Meanwhile those who   did not hear of the announcement and carried their children with motorcycles and cars to the schools had to return home with their children upon reaching the schools and hearing the announcement.

Most of the school authorities and parents who spoke to the Ghanaian Times on condition of anonymity commended the President for the directive but asked that measures that are more stringent be instituted to tackle the menace

On Sunday evening, in a televised address the President ordered the closure of all educational institutions with effect from Monday, March 16, 2020.

“All universities, Senior High Schools and Basic Schools, i.e. public and private, will be closed from Monday, March 16 until further notice,” the President said.

He also ordered the suspension of all public gatherings for the next four weeks.

These public gatherings include conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious events such as services in churches and mosques.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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