The National Association of Public Health Students (NAPHS) following repeated cases of the virus in Senior High Schools (SHS) has joined calls for the closure of schools to prevent an outbreak.
President Akufo-Addo in one of his numerous nation’s addresses announced for schools to reopened to final year students for them to continue with academic activities and prepare to sit for their final exams.
However, just a few weeks after school reopening with measures put in place by the government, some schools have started recording cases of the killer disease.
The Association against this background and fear of other students contracting the disease after some students and teachers tested positive for the virus is urging the central government to as a matter of urgency shut down schools.
The National President of the Association, Claudius B. Angsongna in a statement dated Friday, July 10, 2020, accused the government of not putting adequate measures in place before the partial school reopening.
The Association has also petitioned the Akufo-Addo government to consider testing of schools that have recorded cases of the locally transmitted coronavirus as it isolates persons with the disease.
“We acknowledged some of the efforts the government kept in place to help reduce the spread, but we still call on the government to test all the students in the schools that have recorded cases, isolate the positive cases, and close down the schools to prevent further spread.” part of the statement read.
In addition to the testing, it is calling on the Electoral Commission to suspend the ongoing voter registration exercise for SHS students.
“In our view, the exercise will serve as an avenue for rapid transmission of the virus since the registration so far has seen wanton disregard to safety protocols.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh in an interview with Kwame Sefa kayi on PeaceFM kokrokoo show monitored by Georgeweb.org said the government will today or tomorrow not close down schools.
The Education Minister who just recovered from the virus speaking in the interview said “no student has contracted the novel disease in school, claiming that any student who will test positive for the virus brought it from home”.
“To what extent should we close the schools? Nobody contracted the virus in the schools, they brought it from home. When you look at the protocols and consider isolation and quarantine, which place would be better to isolate and quarantine. For those saying we should close the schools, I don’t agree with them today or tomorrow. What is important is that the teachers and headmasters adhere to the protocols,” he said.
“Kwame we reopened the schools to protect the students. Do you know what may happen to some of them when they are home? They could be opened up to rape predators and other vices. Some cannot even feed themselves so keeping them in school is better and even the school is the best place to isolate. I will be committing a sin if I ask that schools close down in the country because of some few cases” NAPO added.
According to NAPO, the fact that some few students and staff had tested positive for the disease does not necessarily mean schools should be shut down.