Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, has indicated that, his outfit will not be quick to re-open schools in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
He made these comments when addressing a day’s training workshop on the Secondary School Improvement Project (SEIP), for selected journalists in the country.
According to him, the GES would engage stakeholders and the committee inaugurated to come up with a roadmap towards the resumption of schools before they finally make a sound decision.
“The schools will reopen when the committee has made proposals, and the proposals have been accepted. So there is no date for us now, but we know that obviously schools will reopen some time,” Prof. Opoku-Amankwa added.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said following the President’s directive on measures towards reopening schools, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, had constituted an eminent body to oversee to a possible resumption of schools.
The Director-General said even though the resumption of schools was purely an educational matter, it also had health implications due to the pandemic, stressing that “as a result, the committee, which is chaired by a former Minister of Education, Professor Dominic Fobih, has representatives from the Ghana Health Service.”
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said “for the re-opening of schools, the President has charged the Minister of Education to work with the Ghana Education Service, and the ministry has constituted a committee to look at that, and we’ve been asked to come out with a programme by September 21, and subsequently it will go to the President for a decision to be taken”.
Touching on the SEIP, the Director-General said it was a $196 million World Bank Credit Facility geared at improving underdeprived secondary schools in the country.
The project he said commenced in 2014 and was expected to end in 2021.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the main objective of the project was to improve access to secondary education in underserved districts as well as improve on learning outcomes in these schools.
He said, some secondary schools in the country had not been doing well, affecting the annual school placement system.
“It is important to emphasis that it has become a ritual where just close to about 50 to 60 schools are the ones everyone wants his or her child or ward to attend, and this mounts a lot of pressure on such school,” he said.