RE: Proposal to reopen schools: Teacher Unions respond to GES, say the proposal is needles

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 has announced the meeting held by the president with cabinet and ministers of state to deliberate on the way when the ban on social gatherings and closure of the country’s borders expires come May 31.

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 however disagree with the decisions of the service with reasons that centralised on the safety of their members and their clients (students) as well

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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 reasons for which they find the decisions of the the country’s education management unit ahead of the presidents decision

The letter was signed by:
1. Thomas T. Musah-General Secretary, GNAT
2. Angel Carbonu-President, NAGRAT
3. King Awudu Ali-President, CCT-GH
4. Mark D. Korankye-Ag. General Secretary, TEWU

Take a lot at the content of the letter here:

18th May, 2020.
THE DIRECTOR GENERAL
GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE
ACCRA

Dear Sir,
PROPOSALS FOR RE-OPENING OF SCHOOLS

Your letter, Ref GES/DG/245/20/193 of 13th May, 2020 as titled above refers:
We write to take note of Management of Ghana Education Service’s plans to re-open
the schools, should the President of the Republic review the directive on the closure
of public gatherings, including the closure of schools, which is in place, until 31st May, 2020, and react to it as follows
That the CoviD-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc all over the world, Ghana
being no exception.

•That the spread in Ghana is still very exponential, and now standing at 5,735
confirmed cases with 29 deaths as at Monday, 18th May 2020.

•That the spread in Ghana is still very much horizontal, and given the fact that our schools could still be incubation centres of the pandemic, and given the unlimited social interactions and movements which take place there.

•Considering the age and exuberance of our students one cannot be sure that
they will adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocol hence the fear that the disease may spread in the schools’.

•That the country’s health system is still grappling with handling the situation,
•That items for the observation of the prescribed protocols -i.e. clean running
water for washing of hands frequently, alcohol-based hand sanitizers for
sanitizing of hands by both Teachers and students, face/nose masks to be used by Teachers and students, are all not available in the schools.

•That class sizes and dormitory population are still large, thus not making the
observation of social distancing possible.

•Majority of Teachers and Students will have to commute from their place of
abode to the schools hence increasing the risk of infection of the COVID-19.

The Pre-tertiary Education Unions, would not ascribe to the reopening of the schools, should the President of the Republic decide not to extend the 31st May,
2020 deadline and order the re-opening of the schools.

We cannot expose our Teachers and students to the COvID-19 pandemic, with its attendant sorrows and gnashing of teeth.

We hope you can bear with us! Thank you.
Yours in the service of our Teachers and Learners.

Find attached copy of the  letter.

Find below the letter from GES to teacher Unions.

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