Education Minister-designate Dr Yaw Adutwum has dismissed demands for the immediate closure of schools following a spike in Covid-19 cases in some schools across the country.
The Ghana Medical Association some days ago proposed to government to set a threshold for the closure of schools as more cases of the viral disease are recorded.
It followed similar demands from the minority and some parents who have expressed fear of more infections in schools.
Dr Adutwum who took his turn before the Appointments Committee of parliament Thursday, February 12 said he would only sanction the closure of schools if available statistics on infection warrants that.
When asked a direct question on the matter “what is your understanding of the spread as reported by Child Rights International in the schools and governments insistence that schools must remain open?”
He responded “to the extent that we can ensure that the schools are clean and PPE are supplied ad, we are following all the protocols. To the extent that the schools can be a safer environment than the home or the community, then I would say schools should be remained open”.
He added “that is why the following of the protocols, ensuring that students are going through routines, teachers are being trained so that the protocols become second nature to the students, ensuring that there’s a lesson unit that is taught about disease spread in reference to Covid-19.”
“These are critical issues and also ensuring that the new task force that we are developing for schools include an opportunity for timely reporting of places where there is a suspected case. To the extent that we can do all these things and we are ahead of the disease in terms of decision making. I would say the school becomes the safest environment for the children to be.”
Dr Adutwum stressed: “on the other hand, if we are not able to do that then it makes sense to say let’s close down schools. But at this point GES, GHS are in partnership and they are doing a very good job in terms of ensuring that we can get ahead of the virus and make the critical decision that affects the children in the schools. And with that, I would not say that schools should be closed down.”