There have been recent calls in the public space by some concerned parents and the opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), to have the Government and Ghana Education Service (GES) shut down schools across the country for their wards to come home.
Some parents of final year and second year Gold track students of the various Senior High Schools are demanding an immediate vacation of their wards following the alleged outbreak of COVID-19 in schools.
Of course, this is a very sensitive issue and the parents cause for worry is strongly justified. Regardless, we cannot continue to live in fear of contracting the virus since it’s here to stay, probably for the next two years or more. Here is a simple strategy that I believe the government of Ghana can implement to put matters to rest.
I believe in choices, thus, parents who want their kids home should be allowed to take their kids home. So that they repeat and write the SSCE and BECE next year (or next two years or whenever COVID-19 will go or a cure is found) and battle for SHS or University slots with the next batch.
Those who would like their kids to write the exams this year can also maintain them so they can progress to the Secondary Schools or University this coming academic year.
It’s quite simple, I want my child in school to finish his/her education and write the exams — you want schools closed so that it will be postponed till only God knows when. Have your choice and let me have mine. Because if you decide to close down schools, I will also rise in arms.
On the other hand, those who would want their kids to study at home in preparation for the exams can also take their children home and present them during exams, if they are convinced that during the examination the virus cannot affect their children in the exams hall with other students. And also if we can be sure those who went home will not be bringing the virus to affect those who were confined in school.
Whatever it is, those who do not want their children in school should take them out and allow those who want their kids to go for classes and write their exams to do so. No one should trample on the choice of the other, simple.
In any case have they even considered these scenarios in their call to have the schools shut down:
1. That by putting those kids in public transport or even your own car puts other people at risk as well?
2. By taking them home you might end up disseminating the area you live in?
3. By walking around the streets to your house, you put others at risk as well?
We must also know that;
1. COVID19 is not going any moment from now so we must learn how to live around the disease and how to prevent ourselves from getting it.
2. There is no guarantee that the children by staying home will not catch the virus. Some children even when home roam more than when they are in school.
3. Now that COVID19 is still in its blaring fire, there will be causalities, I don’t hope that the causalities will be with someone you know but mortality is inevitable no matter how low it is.
4. Life must go on, however, with the needed precaution. We must encourage people to wear their masks and practice the needed hygiene and social distancing because if by 5 years and the virus is still not gone we will not open schools? Building an online system for children below 18 is not one thing you can do just now, it takes years and years of perfection.