The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) says its position on reopening of schools amidst the coronavirus pandemic would have been different, had it known that the situation will get dire.
President Akufo-Addo in consultation with some stakeholders decided to reopen schools in January 2021 after nine months of closure due to COVID-19.
The decision was arrived at, considering the decline in active cases in the last quarter of 2020 in Ghana.
In a twist of events, the figure has been increasing steadily in recent times.
Some parents have however expressed anxiety over the possible spread of the virus in the school as Ghana’s cases increase.
The President of NAGRAT, Angel Carbonu, in an interview on Citi TV’s Point of View, said “we were unaware of the possible spike in cases at the time the decision to reopen schools was being taken. The situation was not as alarming as it is today. Listening to the numbers today, the daily surge in cases, the current situation is quite disturbing, and we are in a bit of apprehension.”
“Before the decision to reopen schools were taken, the teacher unions were adequately consulted, we sat with the Ghana Education Service (GES), but the situation then is absolutely different from now. Should the situation we find ourselves in today be what we were in at the point of decision-making, our position would have been entirely different. Parents, children and even teachers had become fatigued from staying at home for so long. So there was a groundswell of desire to reopen school. And this desire overwhelmed other factors. We all have been complacent in our handling of the disease.”
The coronavirus situation in Ghana
The nation’s active case count has risen to 1,924.
This was disclosed by President Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation on enhanced measures taken by the government to stop the spread of the virus on Sunday, January 17, 2021.
“We have seen an upsurge in the number of active cases, from a little over nine hundred (900) to one thousand, nine hundred and twenty-four (1,924). Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections.”
The President also indicated that the country had recorded the new strain of the disease.
According to him, the variant was recorded among passengers who tested positive after arriving at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) recently.
He said work is ongoing to “determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.”