Coronavirus: Working parents react to school closure

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As part of the measures taken against the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, President Nana Akufo-Addo in an address to the nation on March 15, 2020 ordered the closure of all universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools effective today, March 16, 2020.

The development has been greeted with mixed reactions as some parents who spoke to GhanaWeb expressed they would have asked their children to stay home even if the directive was not given. For others, the directive is incomplete until they’re asked to work from home so they’re able to take good care of their children and most importantly protect themselves from getting infected.

“My child is safer at home. Even before the announcement of the president, I had already decided that my daughter won’t go to school from today. Fortunately for me, my wife is on leave, she’s a health worker, so of course she’s safer at home,” said Kwame, father of a four-year-old girl.

“I can give the government 50 out of 100. We are expecting him to rather let workers/companies or people that can work from home do that and take care of their families. Imagine if you have a caretaker who takes care of your child, and you don’t know where the person has been whiles you’re in the office working. What if the person brings coronavirus to your family? What happens to the family? They will all be infected, so the president should come again,” said Henry.

Akosua, mother of a teenage boy talked about how crucial it is for families to support each other as the country deals with the pandemic. According to her, her father takes care of her children while she’s at work. This helps her to be able to put her teenage son under control; because just like other teenagers, he loves to socialize with friends which is very risky during this period, as one could easily get infected by the virus.

“I thought that it’s a good directive even though it comes with its own problems especially for mothers who are working. Some of us are fortunate that we have our grandparents in the house to care for our children … I have a sixteen year old who likes roaming a lot, imagine I leave him alone at home, he will roam and never come back. If I didn’t have my father at home, I would have brought him to work,” she said.

According to Daniel, father of three with the youngest being less than two years, he has to work half-day along with his wife so they can take turns to care for their children.

He said: “Today happens to be my first experience. I had to wait for my wife to work in the morning, come back around 11-12pm for me to also leave the children with her so I can also come to work, so you can see basically I have to report to work half day today. For the safety of all of us, I think if something can be done in terms of our work schedule, it will help both parents manage the home.”

He also added that working parents leaving their children in the care of others can be very dangerous as they could be exposed to rape and other bad occurrences.

“It is also risky to leave children in the house with people you don’t really know,” he concluded.

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