The Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), says Private schools are adequately prepared to re-open if government eases the restriction.
The Association says its member schools have adopted safety procedures that will adequately protect teachers and students if schools are to reopen.
Speaking to GBC’s Radio Ghana in Wa, the Acting President of GNAPS, Dr. Damasus Tuurosung, said the measures include providing face masks, hand washing materials, ensuring social distancing and running two different sessions to reduce the number of students in classrooms per any given period.
After Ghana recorded its first two Coronavirus cases, the President suspended schools, religious activities and all forms of public gatherings. The move was to help in the containment of the virus.
The Acting President of GNAPS, Dr Damasus Tuurosong explained that private schools have strategized during the break and are ready to reopen.
Dr Tuurosong opined that children would be more protected while they are in school rather than while they are at home. He said the Association’s stance on the reopening of schools is not because private schools are struggling financially.
“There are arguments even to the fact that the kids being at home is not any safe than the kids being in school. When they are supposed to be at home; are they really indoors? Where do they go, what do they do, who regulates them? To what extent can parents regulate the movement of their children to the extent that such that they will not contract the disease?” he quizzed.
Dr Tuurosong continued, “we have as private schools already come out with very well thought out procedures for containing this virus in our schools.”
When asked about the motives of GNAPS’ stance on the reopening of schools, Dr Tuurosong disagreed with the assertion that it was because private educational facilities were struggling financially.
“We cannot be that petty. Before government announced the closure, private schools were agitating for a closure [of schools] when we foresaw what was coming. We are not novice business owners, we foresaw the economic impact [on our schools] and yet still called for the closure of schools,” he said.
On the one-billion-Ghana-Cedi Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP) launched by government, Dr Tuurosong said although inadequate, it will be very helpful to private educational facilities reeling under the economic effect of the Coronavirus.
“We have encouraged our members to apply. Since yesterday, the link has been so busy and people have been trying to get into it [the online platform]. For now, that is the only opportunity government is offering us. If we are crying that we are in distress, and a relief package comes, it may not be the best you can get but in the circumstance that is what we have for now.”
“Obviously we cannot get enough money. Per projections in relation to the amount that government is offering, every business could be getting something in the region of two thousand and three thousand Ghana-cedis if the funds are shared equally across board,” he explained.
Dr Tuurosong said GNAPS is still open to working together with government to resolve issues within the education sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The one-billion-Ghana-Cedi Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, according to President Akufo-Addo is an integral part of the resilience and recovery plan being put in place to ensure the renewal of economic activity and sustenance of livelihoods.
Story filed by Mark Smith.