Teacher Unions misunderstood GES’s proposal for reopening of schools – Ellis Ferdinand

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Award-winning  Education Blogger and founder of Education Ghana Media Network, Ellis Ferdinand has chastised the Pre-Tertiary Teacher Unions for attacking the Ghana Education Service (GES) over a proposal submitted to the unions by the GES on the reopening of schools.

According to Ferdinand, the proposal letter being sent to the Unions by the GES was an anticipatory letter and not a suggestion that schools should resume amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as being interpreted by the Teachers Unions.

Four teacher Unions – GNAT, NAGRAT, TEWU and CCT said the GES letter which suggests that the body has launched a stakeholder consultation to provide President Akufo-Addo with measures to be taken ahead of a possible reopening of all basic and senior high schools is uncalled for.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr Thomas Musah, the General Secretary of GNAT said: “This particular letter which has come out is creating fear and panic among the rank and file of our members. Currently, the [COVID-19] figures we have is 5,735 with 29 deaths and when people are looking at these particular figures, certainly, it will create fear and panic among them.

“We’re talking about a situation where when a teacher is going to school, the teacher will board trotro and you have certain children in a particular class coming from all walks of life. The question is, do we know the status of all the teachers who will be going to the schools? Have they been tested? The children, have they been tested? These are fundamental issues we should all establish.”

“If we don’t do that and we start talking of reopening at this particular moment, the question is why won’t we wait for the President to come and speak and we take it up from there. Schools or educational facilities are not the only places closed down…”

But Ellis indicated that the Ghana Education Service (GES) which has begun planning towards the resumption of schools was in anticipation of the president’s possible lift of the ban on the closure of schools after May,31,2020.

”The GES in a letter dated May 13, 2020, to the Pre-Tertiary Teacher Unions, requested from the Union, their inputs on how to manage the schools with regards to the COVID-19 Pandemic should the ban be lifted, which does not imply the GES wanted to reopen schools” He said.

”The GES has given the Unions until May 19, 2020, to submit their inputs, which means that the Unions are to come out with possible ideas on how to contain the pandemic in schools since schools shall not be closed forever” He said.

He urged the Unions to do the needful and not necessarily attack the GES.

 

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