The Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) is entreating the government to provide clear guidelines for the reopening of schools in the country.
In an interview with Alpha Beta’s Head of Operations, Dr Naomi Agyepong said due to no standard guide for reopening of schools, it has led to inconsistencies among various schools.
“We had to employ a lot of guesswork and try to copy what has happened in other countries. Alpha Beta has had a plan from last year which we still had to modify a little bit more to accommodate the current circumstances. The challenge is that without a standard guide, even engaging with parents can sometimes become a bit difficult because all schools will not be acting consistently,” she said.
GNACOPS also appealed for a 6-month extension of statutory tax payments for private schools to enable its members to effectively manage schools amid COVID-19 as well as build financial muscle to fulfil statutory tax payments.
The National Executive Director of GNACOPS, Enoch Gyetuah among other things said: “we need a system where the government will support private schools in terms of regulatory flexibility.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 21st COVID-19 on Sunday, January 3, 2021, announced that basic school students from Kindergarten (KG) to Junior High School (JHS) will resume their classroom activities from Friday, January 15, 2021.
Continuing Senior High School (SHS) students will go back to school on January 18, 2021.
However, first-year SHS students are expected to begin school on March 10, 2021.
Tertiary students were to return to lecture halls from Saturday, January 9, 2021.
Guidelines for resumption
According to the government, it will through the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, ensure that all institutions, public and private, are fumigated and disinfected.
Schools and institutions, with their own hospitals and clinics, are to be equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment and have isolation centres to deal with any positive cases.
All other school and institutions, without their own clinics and hospitals, have been mapped to health facilities.
There will be, for now, no mass gatherings and no sporting activities. However, religious activities for students at school, under the new protocols, will be permitted.
Social distancing and the wearing of face masks must become the norm in our schools.
The requisite provisions have been made to ensure that students at all levels of the education ladder receive the minimum number of contact hours upon their return to school.