The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has indicated that its plans to carry out the 2021 housing and population census will be affected by the reopening of schools in January same year.
Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, highlighted that the reopening of schools remains a hindrance as some of the census activities are supposed to take place in schools.
He said the Service is employing all possible means to ensure that the census comes off in April and May 2021 as the President has directed.
However, the return of students to their respective campuses in January 2021 remains a “barrier” as classrooms will be needed “to determine the outcome of the census.”
Dr. Kobina Annim mentioned that the Service will resort to virtual means to gather data due to the presence of the Coronavirus.
He stated that adequate preparations have been made with all training materials developed and reviewed for the activity.
“I must say that with all the adverse consequences of COVID-19, it has brought in place some time opportunity for us to review the kind of things that is going to go into the census and I must engage that we have learnt to work very well under virtual circumstances because of COVID-19.
“And by so doing we can comfortably say that we have developed and reviewed all our training materials, the only thing that we have left with is to get the editorial work done,” he said.
“One of the milestones is training master trainers. This is also one of the benefits we got from COVID-19 by virtual engagement. Now we have a bank of 58 master trainers who are at the apex of our fourth year level training, and we intend having a longer term engagement with them especially those that would like to build their career along the line.”
Ghana is preparing to conduct its first digital Population and Housing Census (PHC) in April and May 2021.
The 2021 PHC is being implemented in accordance with the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for 2020 World Program on PHCs which emphasize the use of technology to improve results accuracy and timelines.
The 2021 PHC will use Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) to ensure efficient data collection, and processing as well as speedy release of results.