COVID-19: Calls for schools’ closure knee-jerk – UG Dean

The calls for final year SHS and JHS students to return home after several confirmed cases were recorded in some institutions has been described as a knee-jerk reaction the Dean for the School of Education and Leadership at the University of Ghana Professor Jonathan Fletcher.

According to him, allowing the students to go back home will cause more harm than good, calling for patience and proper analysis of the situation.

Fifty-five (55) students and staff at the Accra Girls’ Senior High School have tested positive for COVID-19, a joint statement the Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service confirmed.

The School is among the list of schools that have recorded cases of the virus two weeks after the government reopened schools for final year students.

However, speaking on the Morning Starr Tuesday Prof. Fletcher said he was not suggesting exams are more important than health, but preventing students from going home to infect their families was pivotal.

He said “health is the priority but we need to get the balance right because otherwise  nothing will happen. Are we suggesting that when the kids are home they won’t contract Covid-19 because they are home? And also, now that we have a situation where we have a lot of people that have been infected and have been quarantined, are we suggesting that we should send them home to go and infect their families?

“We should analyze these things because if you have a child in a school who for some reason has been infected this virus, you want the child to recover before they come home. If you are going to say they should go back home, one person goes back home and infects five or ten people.”

He expressed worry over the situation saying “my worry is that if we are not too careful if we release infected children to their families we are going to cause more havoc. I’m not suggesting that exams are more important than health but we have a situation that students have been infected, we’ve gotta make sure they are treated and fourteen days ok before they return home.”

Prof Fletcher added “it seems to me that this is a knee-jerk reaction that we are all involved in, we shouldn’t. We should be very patient and we should analyze the situation and we should do the cost-benefit analysis because it’s not just a case where we send them home and problem solved, I don’t think so.”

Source: Ghana/

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Kwame Anane

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