Education Schools Reopening

Dr Edward Antwi, the National Child Heath Coordinator, has charged parents to set good examples by strictly observing the COVID-19 safety protocols for their children to emulate.

He said parents should be seen by the children washing their hands with soap under running water, practicing cough etiquettes and using alcohol-based sanitizers to stay safe of the disease.

Dr Antwi said this during the opening of a two-day virtual stakeholder conference to generate a policy brief strategy on the re-opening of early childhood educational centres amidst COVID-19 within the Ghanaian context.

Dubbed: “Continuous learning and re-opening of early childhood centres and care programmes: what will it take Ghana?” the conference was organised by the Centre for Learning and Childhood Development (CLCD), Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, UNICEF and some Non-Governmental Organisations.

Topics to be treated include; Preventing, Detecting and Managing COVID-19 at school and in the home; Continuous learning in the COVID-19 era lessons from the field research; and the Impact of caregiver engagement and child development.

Others are UNICEF’s framework for school reopening: overview and resource needs; and Reopening schools and inclusive education in the COVID-19 era: lessons from a caregiver’s perspective.

However, Dr Antwi said, children under-two should not wear nose masks as they would suffocate.

Speaking on the topic: Preventing, Detecting and Managing COVID-19 at School and Home,” Dr Antwi advised parents not to send their children to crowded areas and must ensure they wore nose masks when going out.

He said they should teach the children not to visit people’s home nor encourage visitors into their homes unnecessarily, adding that if it so happened, they should observe social distancing.

Dr Antwi said at school, there should be adequate ventilation in classrooms, overcrowding in buses should be avoided, and both students and teachers should be screened before entering the classroom.

He said schools should provide adequate handwashing facilities at the entrance, supervise children whilst using sanitizers to avoid swallowing, and contact hours should be reduced.

He said the schools should be linked to a health facility to cater for pupils and teachers when they showed signs of sickness but as much as possible sick teachers and children must stay home.

He advised that teachers and parents should be educated on all the protocols including new developments to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Mrs Naa Koshie Lamptey of the National Council for Private Early Childhood Growth and Development, speaking on how to inform policy on school reopening, called on teachers to accept the children and support them through the learning process saying that none should be stigmatised in case one contracted the disease.

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