The Professor Emeritus of the Ashesi University Stephen Adei who subjected himself to public backlash, criticisms, insults, attacks among many for a statement he made during Joy News’ Upfront on Thursday, 20th May, 2020, calling for a 50% deduction in salary of public school teachers, who deliberately want to remain in the comfort of their homes due to the closure of schools in the midst of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, has made a U-Turn and hit hard at the government.
Educationist Professor Stephen Adei in a surprising and shocking statement said, President Akufo-Addo should not be in a rush to lift restriction on reopening of schools in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. In any case, if schools should be reopened, proper measures must be put in place to protect students and teachers. “government should not be in a rush to reopen schools to students while the country is still fighting the coronavirus.” He suggested.
According to the renowned professor, if any decision must be taken to reopen schools, the Minister of Education through the Ghana Education Service should allow only the final year students to reopen so that, they can prepared for their West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. “final year students alone could be asked to go to school to limit the spread of the virus among students.” He explained.
Professor Stephen Adei argued that, the decision to reopen schools entirely will risk the lives of students and teachers and it will contradict government’s precautionary measures to prevent the vast spread of the Coronavirus pandemic at the time positive cases are on the rise.
Adding to that, he stated that, the final year students could be regulated and properly managed in the midst of the novel coronavirus since their number is less. According to him, the debate to reopen all schools is unproductive and disastrous at this moment.
On Sunday, 15th March, 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed for the closure of schools across Ghana. Following the havoc the pandemic, COVID-19 has brought on the world, its continents and countries has not yet been recovered from and as such most economies are still closed with governments holding stakeholder consultations to know the way forward of which Ghana is no exemption.
The government of Ghana through the minister of information Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has announced the meeting held by the president with cabinet and ministers of state to deliberate on the way forward when the ban on social gatherings and closure of the country’s borders expires come May 31, 2020.
Many groups have submitted proposals to the government to be reviewed as the way forward in opening certain parts of the economy relating to them and how they’ll prevent the spread of the pandemic in the process of which religious bodies started and the Ghana Education Service joined
The teacher unions of the pre-tertiary educational units, Parent-Teachers Association (PTA), teachers among many however disagree with the decisions of the service with reasons that centralised on the safety of their members and their clients (students) as well.
In a letter written by joint efforts of all three teacher unions, i.e. GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT-GH and TEWU, the unions categorically stated clearly a number of reasons for which they find the decisions of the the country’s education management unit ahead of the presidents decision.
Almost all key stakeholders in education including some politicians have cautioned give not to rush to reopen schools in the coronavirus era since the action may be dangerous to students and teachers by risking their lives.