Calls to shutdown reopened schools untenable – Education Minister

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Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has said calls for re-opened schools to be shut down over rising cases of the Coronavirus, particularly in Senior High Schools, are untenable.

Speaking during an interview on Adom TV’s ‘Badwam’ programme on Monday, July 13, 2020, the Minister said he disagreed with the calls for SHSs to be closed down and the students sent home on the back of the reported cases.

“Those of us in leadership must listen to public concerns, and be guided by the evidence in making recommendations to the President.

“Even if my child were in school at present, I would not, with the evidence as it stands, recommend to the President that schools should be shut down”, he argued.

Dr Prempeh noted that considering that there are 721 senior high schools in the country, with a population of about 400,000 and 13 reported cases across 5 schools, the calls for the schools to be shut down were not tenable.

He further noted that there had been no reported cases even in some communities where some of the Senior High Schools are cited.

He said one cannot, therefore, call for all the schools in the country to be shut down.

Dr Prempeh insisted that whether to close the schools or keep them open, we have to look at community trends as well as risks and rewards involved.

Final year students in Junior and Senior High Schools and tertiary institutions, as well as second-year Gold Track SHS students, were recalled last month, after months of lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

The opposition National Democratic Congress, the Ghana Medical Association are among groups urging the government to close down the reopened schools due to the rising coronavirus case count.

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