The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, says the reopening date of educational institutions will depend on the expert advice of health professionals managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
That, he said, was to ensure that “we have a safe back-to-school process”.
“I can assure you that the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the universities are in close and regular contact with the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health,” Dr Prempeh said in a widely publicised letter to students in the country.
The letter, published in the Thursday, April 30, 2020 edition of the Daily Graphic, is the second to be issued by the minister in a week. The first letter, also published in the April 27, 2020 edition of the Daily Graphic, was addressed to parents.
Schools in Ghana have been closed since Monday, March 16 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the past five weeks, the letter said “your academic work has been disrupted because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in our country. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took the bold and necessary decision to close down our educational institutions to protect you and the nation from this deadly disease which has claimed many lives across the world”.
“I am concerned about your continuous learning, particularly as we near the end of the academic year. I can imagine the uncertainties about reopening dates and examination timetables weighing on your mind and perhaps affecting your preparations, especially for those of you in your final year,” it said.
In the meantime, the letter said, the Ministry of Education and the GES had created various platforms for pre-tertiary education on television and online to enable students to continue with structured and self-guided learning activities. “For TV, we are currently broadcasting content for senior high school (SHS) core subjects on the Ghana Learning TV. It is available on free-to-air TV, as well as on DStv channel 315, GOtv channel 150 and StarTimes channel 312. Very soon, we will be broadcasting content for kindergarten (KG) to junior high school (JHS) as well.
“Additionally, we are producing learning content for radio to be broadcast across the country. For online, we have resources available for SHS students on iCampus Ghana which can be accessed via www.icampus. In the near future, content for KG to JHS pupils and students will also be made available on this platform,” it said.
For tertiary students, the letter said various universities were deploying learning systems to help students continue their education remotely, adding that the ministry was aware of the challenges students were facing with the cost of data and had agreed with telecommunications networks (Vodafone and MTN) to zero-rate educational content online on platforms.
“For the time being, I encourage you to stay at home and adhere to all safety regulations during these difficult times. I also encourage you to draw up personal daily timetables to engage in learning through the platforms we have provided.
“Pick up new healthy hobbies, read widely (free e-books available on the Ghana Library Authority app) and exchange learning ideas with your peers,” the letter added.