President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Isaac Jay Hyde, is proposing that all educational institutions in the country are made to adopt a shift system if they are allowed to be reopen even as the country continues to record more positive cases of the novel coronavirus.
If the government accepts this proposal, Isaac Jay Hyde says that final year tertiary students should prioritize in the running of the shift system.
Speaking on UniversNews, NUGS President, Isaac Jay Hyde explained that since the average size of classrooms in Ghana is already against the standards of the UNESCO, practicing social distancing, would be difficult in schools.
Isaac Jay Hyde wants that the government to engage in broader stakeholder meetings to finally make a decision on the matter.
” It is a known fact that our schools are congested. Per the UNESCO directives, a number of 20 to 40 students should be in a class; but it is unfortunate that such a directive is not adhered to in this part of the world, hence the social distancing protocol may be difficult. Some of the proposals that have been in the system is like we should do a shift kind of reopening so that final year students could write their exam, and when they are done the next batch of [level]300, 200 goes and subsequently the level 100. Majority of senior and junior high schools students are not up to 18 years, and they do not have outright responsibilities on themselves. So the opinion of their parents matters in this case.So it has to be a bit calculated before we send students to school.” He said.
The NUGS President also expressed worry over the congested state of the hall of residence on campus and according to him, implementing the shift system will prevent a widespread of the virus should schools reopen.
“You and I know that some people may be asymptomatic and they are coming in and we will not be able to tell if indeed they carry the virus. What it means is that there is a risk of the virus being spread to other people, because quite a number of persons are congested in our hostels and so for me, I will always opt for a phase sort of reopening whereby students go in batches,” Isaac Jay Hyde added
Whilst he says hand sanitizers and other provisions will be made for the protection of students, Isaac Jay Hyde admitted that it would be difficult to ensure that all students adhere to the safety protocols.
“We are dealing with students in the contest of our environment. So we are not sure that we have the capacity to control what everybody does. Our schools are not necessarily walled so students can move in and out. You cannot confine students of Legon [into it four corners]. I can say that there are plans to provide veronica buckets. There will be sanitizers and all the necessary material will be available before school reopen. But the thing is that, we cannot ensure that every student abides by the rules because students can be recalcitrant, sometimes.” he said
Government engaging stakeholder over possible reopening of schools – Information Minister
Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says that the President is in talks with stakeholders on the matter of schools reopening.
In a social media engagement, he said that “the gov’t is looking at reopening schools. The President is engaging with stakeholders to know the way forward.”
Story by: Eli Djomekou | universnewsroom.com