Pre-Tertiary Educational Unions Teacher Unions in Ghana want schools to remain closed because of the threat of COVID-19 even if the ban on public gatherings is not extended by the President.

In a letter addressed to the Director-General of Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, the unions said they “would not ascribe to the re-opening of the schools, should the President of the Republic decide not to extend the 31st May 2020 deadline and order the re-opening of the schools.”

The unions represented the letter comprised of the Teachers and Education Workers Union, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana.

“The spread [of the virus in Ghana is still very exponential, and given the fact that our [Ghanaian] schools could still be incubation centres of the pandemic, and given the unlimited social interactions and movements which take place there,” they warned.

They indicated that measures to prevent the spread of the virus would be difficult to adhere to in Ghana’s schools.

“The class sizes and dormitory population are still large, thus not making the observation of social distancing possible.”

The unions further explained that “considering the age and exuberance of our students one cannot be sure that they [students] will adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocol hence the fear that the disease may spread in the schools.”

Among the other challenges that the union stated that need to be addressed before reopening include the non-availability of potable water, face/nose masks, alcohol-based sanitiser and soap to help teachers and students adhere to prescribed protocols.