I am a citizen
I am the son of a Gong-gong beater
Why should the poor teacher go back and teach in this CoronaVirus Pandemic when our confirmed case count is 8,070 as at 31st May 2020 and still rising exponentially?
A May 29th, 2020 BBC report on schools being reopened as countries begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions, South Korea has been compelled to shut down schools again after recording a biggest spike in weeks.
The country recorded 79 new cases just a day after thousands of students reported back to school and authorities have since asked over 200 schools to close.
What a dangerous risk to take against your own citizens.
Why hurtle when you can wait a while to let the dust settle?
In Ghana, the National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (NCPTAs), Ghana Teachers Union, Ghana Association of Private Schools and the Africa Education Watch have added their voice to concerns about GES’ plans to re-open schools.
Why the rush to reopen schools when the country is challenged with an exponential rise in confirmed Covid-19cases?
Has the Ghana Education Service thought through the decision to re-open schools?
Has the Ghana Education Service anticipated the snag the country is likely to face if schools reopen? I doubt.
Does the Ghana Education Service have a Master Plan or Blue print of inventiveness about reopening schools?
Will Schools be running shifts and has it considered the impact on teaching staff and readiness?
Has the Ghana Education Service, thought about providing some essential protective tools in all public and private institutions? Will it consider mass testing for teachers if not students?
My uncle Mr Adjei Mensah who teaches at the La Wireless JSS asks these questions;
How safe am I if schools are opened?
Are the students’ books and papers safe to mark?
Will he (my Uncle) take these books and papers home to mark?
Will he get free medication if he gets infected?
Will his family be adequately compensated if he should die after testing positive?
Will my Uncle get risk allowance when schools re-open for potential exposure to the disease?
Is it worth to die for the salary which is not enough to feed, clothe and shelter his family?
Will he be able to teach all the subjects and periods in a day with a nose musk on?
Now if he has other health conditions that might affect him in this COVID-19 pandemic era, can he still teach though very vulnerable?
If a student in class shows COVID-19 symptoms after lunch during classes, will the teachers be quarantined?
Again does it mean all pupils or students that is the whole class, will be quarantined?
Does the school have an equipped sickbay for First Aid?
How frequent will temperatures of teachers and students be tested?
If given one thermometer gun, is it possible to test 45 students in the class before lessons?
Who will test and check the temperature of the students? Will the teachers be paid for that?
Will the teaching and learning continue if schools run out of sanitizers?
Will the teaching and learning continue if taps stops flowing completely
If the teacher gets infected and is place under self –quarantine for example, who will take his/her class?
Do all schools having enough desks to maintain social distance?
Will the school be able to employ more teachers since the teacher to pupil ratio has decreased?
How many teachers are needed per school in each department per subject?
How will you know a child is infected assuming it happened at home>
What about those asymptomatic?
How safe will a child be if schools open?
Is education the first priority than life of your child?
Let’s not forget that covid is spread out by air and ontact therefore its a contagious disease.
Let’s keep on keeping on for the best and keep praying
If the Ghana Education Service has answered the above questions about the concerned teacher satisfactorily, and will provide the essentials, then schools can go ahead and reopen
Let me sign off with this African proverb that says “ the ears that do not listen to advice, accompanies the head when it is being chopped off”. Which means ..A person who does not heed advice will suffer the consequences atlas
I remain the echoing voice of a village scribe and Gong-gong beater
By TT Caternor, La Dadekotopon