Dr Peter Attafuah, Northern Regional Director of Education, has lauded the schools in the Northern Region for adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols leading to the region not recording any positive case.
He said the government supplied COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all schools in the Region to help stem the spread of the virus among students, teachers and staff, adding, “so far, we can say that adherence to the safety protocols have been good in our schools and, as far as I am concerned we have no issues with recording cases in any school”.
Dr Attafuah said this as a stakeholders’ forum for the education sector forum to assess progress made so far in education delivery and discussed emerging issues after schools reopened in January this year.
It was organized by School for Life (SfL), a non-governmental organization (NGO), in Tamale, as part of the NGO’s ‘Empowerment for Life Programme’, on the theme; “Emerging issues from school reopening so far: concerns, challenges and way forward”.
It was held in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES), with funding support from CISU through Ghana Friends, a Danish organization, and brought together District Directors of Education in the Region and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working in the area of education, among others.
The forum was part of series of dialogue sessions that provided a platform for participants to share and learn best practices and strategies as well as take concerted actions to strengthen and improve on access to quality education in the Region.
Participants also discussed pertinent issues that affected equal access to quality education delivery in the Northern Region and devised strategies and mechanisms to address the challenges.
Dr Attafuah said the Radio and Television Learning Programme, which was introduced by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to aid learning among students at the time of schools’ closure, was still being used to persuade students to learn effectively to improve on their academic performance.
Dr Attafuah said there has been a general increase in the number of students who returned to school after the COVID-19 break, saying; “The GES undertook a Back to School campaign to orient parents and other stakeholders to ensure their children went back to school and that yielded positive results”.
Participants spoke about how various schools in the region implemented the COVID-19 guidelines on safe school reopening, teaching and learning materials in the midst of COVID-19, enrollment of students; especially girls and general reflection on implications on equity in education among other topics.
Madam Wedad Sayibu, Programme Director of School for Life, said achieving equity and access to quality education in the Region called for collective efforts of everyone with a stake.
She appealed to stakeholders to join forces to institute programmes and policies that would help to realize this vision.
“We need to take advantage of technology and encourage the use of virtual means of learning in this era of COVID-19 so that we can observe the social distancing protocol in schools to help combat the spread of the disease in educational facilities”, she added.