The Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) has directed its members to go ahead with their usual activities amidst fears of a shutdown over coronavirus.
In a press release by Enock Kwasi Gyetuah, the National Executive Director of the Council, it assuaged the fears of parents and member by stressing a few key measures put in place to prevent catching the virus.
“We must avoid creating atmosphere, where there will be overcrowding or clique of school children in school buses, classrooms and dining halls. Overcrowding of children in such spaces provides fertile grounds for easy transfer of the disease from one person to another,” it said.
GNACOPS added, “We must educate learners/children on the coronavirus pandemic in ways that will not spark fear and panic, but rather equip them with the requisite knowledge they need about the disease and how to protect themselves.”
On Friday, the Ghana Education Service (GES) directed all heads of schools to suspend all activities that require large gatherings.
In a communique after a meeting with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Director-General of the Service, Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa said “public activities such as Speech and Prize-Giving Days” must be suspended “until further directives are given by the Director-General.”
He disclosed that educational materials have been prepared in collaboration with the GHS for circulation and education in all schools.
Below is the statement from GNACOP
Following the news of the two reported cases of the global pandemic of coronavirus in Ghana on March 12, 2020, the Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) wishes to re-emphasise a few key points for all private schools and parents.
Children are most susceptible to infections and communicable diseases and rightly so, it has been confirmed from statistics of countries that have been, to a greater extent affected with Coronavirus that a good number of children in those countries have been infected. It is, therefore, very imperative that we put in place measures to protect our pupils/children from any possible cases of infections.
In doing so, we have to ensure the following preventive measures:
- We must avoid creating atmosphere, where there will be overcrowding or clique of school children in school buses, classrooms and dining halls. Overcrowding of children in such spaces provides fertile grounds for easy transfer of the disease from one person to another.
- We must educate learners/children on the coronavirus pandemic in ways that will not spark fear and panic, but rather equip them with the requisite knowledge they need about the disease and how to protect themselves.
- We must provide enough hand washing bowls with soap and running water in our schools for the learners/children to have access to usage.
- Children should closely be monitored in and outside the classroom (during breaks) to ensure they maintain a high level of hygiene.
- We must encourage parents to ensure that their children have Hand Sanitizers in their bags for their protective use in and outside the school.
- We must encourage parents to closely observe their children and quickly seek help if they suspect any child of showing symptoms of the disease.
- We must admonish parents to kindly keep their children at home and seek medical help should they suspect any symptoms since the school is not mandated to give any medication to any child.
We, therefore, wish to emphasise and encourage the entire private school’s fraternity to go on with their normal duties of academic delivery until further notice from the leadership of the council.
We are in close discussions with Ghana health service, the Ministry of Education and the government to put in place measures to extend all materials and equipment needed to remediate the spread of the pandemic disease- CONVID-19.
As we comply with the above, it is our prayer that no cases of coronavirus would be recorded in any of our schools.
Enock Kwasi Gyetuah National Executive Director, GNACOPS