COVID-19 affecting education at rural communities

Education is the foundation for the development and progress of any society. Education reduces inequalities, breaks the cycle of poverty, fosters tolerance, ensures gender equality, and empowers people to live more healthy lives for more productivity.

Gottfried Wilhem Leibnitz once said, “Make me the master of education, and I will undertake to change the world.”

Education is a base upon which the whole building of human development stands.

According to the 1992 constitution of Ghana, all persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities. With regard to this right, the government, as part of the vision towards universal education, aims at providing quality education for all by providing adequate resources and facilities to achieve the goal of education at all levels.

Unfortunately, the emergence of the COVID 19 pandemic has brought anomalies in various sectors of the country, including the educational sector. The traditional system of education, where students used to sit in class for teaching and learning to take place has vanished from the system as a result of the coronavirus.

Since the shutdown of schools on March 16, various measures have been put in place by the ministry of education (MOE) and the Ghana education service (GES).

On April 3, the Ministry of Education launched TV lessons for Senior High School students. And on April 13, GBC started airing TV lessons for primary and junior high schools.

Tertiary institutions are making use of online learning. All these are good measures taken to make sure education doesn’t come to a halt in the country.

However, upon all the measures being put in place I have realized there has been an ‘educational divide.’

This educational divide is where there is a gap between students who have access to educational materials and information and those who lack.

Students who are benefiting from the new ways of teaching and learning are those who have access to electricity, mobile phones, television sets, and internet accessibility.

There are places in Ghana especially villages, where there is no electricity. The question that comes to play is that how do students in these villages get access to TV lessons.

There is a section of students who have access to electricity but do not have access to television sets. Out of these students some are B.E.C.E and WASSCE candidates. How do such students prepare for their final exams?

The village child who doesn’t have access to electricity and television set is now disadvantaged as far as education is concerned. Their right to education, as stated in the 1992 Constitution no more exists. This will widen the knowledge gap between students in these villages and those in urban centres.

As a concern citizen, who has found himself in such situation before, I call on the Ministry of education (MOE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to roll out measures that can benefit these left-out students.

Let’s put all students, both poor and the rich on the same page.