Reopening of schools: Consider batch system – Africa Education Watch tells government

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Education think-tank, Africa Education Watch has asked government to consider allowing students back in school under the batch system with all Covid-19 safety protocols in place.

The recommendation comes on the back of an earlier announcement by Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, that President Akufo-Addo will Wednesday meet Parliaments Committee on Education to decide on the possible reopening of schools in January.

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In a post made Tuesday on his official Twitter platform, the Minister disclosed that government has been in discussions with various stakeholders within the sector to come up with a comprehensive and detailed plan on the reopening of schools.

Speaking to Joy News, however, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare opined that operating schools in batches, as is being practiced in other countries, would complement the institutionalized shift system.

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“No country in the world has been able to contain the entire student situation at a go. In other countries where schools were reopened earlier in the year, they have them running in batches.

“There are countries where a group of people attend school on Monday and Tuesday whiles the next group does Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The group days are reversed in the next week,” he said.

According to him, schools with large class sizes can adopt this batch system in order to operate within the safety measure.

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“In our part of the world, we’re used to the shift system, and so schools with high class sizes that cannot reasonably distance within the 1 metre regulation of the UNESCO and GES, will definitely have to run the morning and afternoon shifts.

“And schools that have the capacity to accommodate all their students within the one metre physical distancing, especially most of the private schools, should be allowed to run their system,” he said.

Meanwhile, President of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools, Alhaji Ahmed Bin Yakub Abubakar, has admonished that whatever the outcome of the President’s meeting with cabinet, there must be an efficient distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all school.

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