Ministry of Education (MoE) has launched back to school campaign with a call on parents and caregivers to send their wards back to school.
The launch, which was also used to outdoor what the Ghana Education Service had put in place to ensure students’ safety as they returned to school.
Madam Anne Claire Dufray, Country Representative of UNICEF stated at the launch that eight million Ghanaian boys and girls had suffered profound consequences over the past ten-month due to closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said they had not only missed out on teaching and learning, but also social interactions at schools as well as risked their safety.
She said, some had involved in commercial work for the past months whilst others begged in the streets, stating that if not checked, there would be massive loss to the human capital development.
Madam Dufray said adolescents, especially, females, were at risk as some got pregnant, adding that all gains made to keep the girl-child in school were at risk.
The UNICEF Country Representative said everyone had a responsibility to help send the children back, which would be in the interest of Ghana at large.
She pledged UNICEF’s continuous support to ensure child safety and provide the necessary equipment to schools and urged the authorities to monitor adherence of safety protocols at the various schools.
Madam Dufray commended government for its rapid response to contain the pandemic outbreak.
Mr Anthony Boateng, a Deputy Director General of GES advised parents and guardians to support even their daughters that gave birth during the season, adding it did not mean they were condoning sexual promiscuity.
He said after the lockdown, there was recalling of students to complete school as well as the second year students of both the Senior High School and Junior High School, but there had not been a single COVID-19 fatality.
Mr Boateng praised staff, parents and guardians for their cooperation during the period and assured the public that lessons learnt would help manage the re-opening better.
He said with support from the Ghana Health Service (GHS), schools had been mapped to health centres in order to refer cases of unwell students, noting that safety protocols would be strictly enforced.
Trained resourced persons- Regional Advocacy Taskforce drawn from organisations and institutions including; government, Civil Society Organisations, traditional, religious and the media were to ensure community members were sensitized to send their children to school, he said.
Mr Miguel Falcon, representative of Plan International commended the MoE and GES for their efforts to ensure that more children return to school.
Nii Acquaye Bonsu III, Chief of James Town and Chairman for the event asked for more of the outreaches to boost the interest of the community members in education.
The launch brought together religious leaders, traditional heads, heads of institutions, directors of education, union representatives, parents, students, among other stakeholders.
There was a community outreach to boost the interest of the citizenry on the need to send their children back to school and those who had never been to school.