Silence of Education Committee on COVID-19 matters in schools not the best-Apaak
Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament Dr. Clement Apaak has asked leadership to speak out and impress upon the government to close down schools to prevent the spread in secondary schools.
The legislator who represents the people of Builsa South said the committee with oversight responsibilities over any and everything education must speak out.
He said ”Indeed Ghanaians have every reason to wonder why the Education Committee of Parliament has failed and is currently not making any efforts to summon the MOE and GES to brief us on the impact of COVID-19 on education, especially in the light of the presence of the virus on campuses, and reactions from students, parents and teachers.”
Already, all Pre-tertiary teacher Unions in Ghana have unanimously demanded the closure of schools over the spread of the coronavirus in secondary schools.
The four unions namely, the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union, National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers Ghana (CCT-GH) in a joint statement said the safety measures put in place to protect students and staff for the re-opening of the schools have been disregarded and “either limited or just not there”.
“In the light of the above. We the Pre-tertiary Teacher Unions-GNAT NAGRAT TEWU, CCT-GH have no option than to ask that the schools be closed down. For how long can we stand and look, while our children are consigned to imminent death. We cannot stand any unwarranted catastrophe. Our children are our future, and we must protect them,” the statement said.
This call and many others the MP believes should inform the Committee to act and act in the interest of Ghanaians especially students and parents as well as teachers.
”Truth is that students are terrified, parents are anxious, teachers are panicky and the public is worried. All major stakeholders except government agree that schools be closed. There is consensus that the lives of our future leaders must be prioritised over their final exams, and that the exams, WASSCE and BECE be postponed,” he stated.
Read his full statement below
Parliamentary Committee On Education, COVID 19 and Matters Arising – Folks, in all honesty, do you think students can focus on studying, let alone write exams under these terrifying and frightening conditions; increasing numbers of COVID 19 cases on their campuses?
Truth is that students are terrified, parents are anxious, teachers are panicky and the public is worried. All major stakeholders except government agree that schools be closed. There is consensus that the lives of our future leaders must be prioritised over their final exams, and that the exams, WASSCE and BECE be postponed.
In all this, can you believe that, and infact, since the outbreak of the pandemic, the EDUCATION COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT has not had any discussion on COVID 19 and its implications on teaching and learning. It has never featured as an agenda item on its own, or as part of an agenda for a committee meeting?
The committee, of which I’m a member, has NEVER been consulted or informed on anything by the Ministry of Education or the GES on the pandemic and its effects on education. The so-called roadmap drawn up after consultation with stakeholders, including the teacher unions, leading to the reopening of schools, has never been seen by the committee on education, well, maybe members of the majority side, which chairs the committee, may seen it.
My call for the committee to rise up and show leadership in the wake of the pandemic in relation to the educational sector has been ignored. As a minority, we don’t chair the committee, even so, our side has issued statements calling for the schools to be closed down to protect the lives of our students and stop the spread of the virus. We also called government out for failing to fulfill the promises made as a prerequisite for the reopening of schools.
But, Ghanaians expect the Education Committee of Parliament as body to lead, speak out. Indeed, Ghanaians have every reason to wonder why the Education Committee of Parliament has failed and is currently not making any efforts to summon the MOE and GES to brief us on the impact of COVID 19 on education, especially in light of the presence of the virus on campuses, and the reactions from students, parents and teachers
We are a committee with oversight responsibilities over any and every thing education – teaching and learning. The public is watching!
Don’t Ghanaians deserve better? Cry my beloved country.
I remain a citizen!
Dr. Clement Apaak
M.P, Builsa South