So Who Should Work To Pay Teachers? – Education Minister On Closure Of Schools
The Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh says Government cannot be paying teachers while they stay at home.
According to him, if all workers across the country say they are scared of COVID-19 so they will not go to work, the country will come crumbling down, therefore, teachers should also ensure they respect the various protocols and work to ensure that academic goes on.
There have been calls on government to close down all the schools because as of 6th July 2020, six (6) students, a teacher and spouse, were confirmed as positive for COVID-19 in Accra Girls Senior High School.”
But speaking on Accra-based Peace FM monitored by mynewsgh, the Minister said “I don’t agree. Teachers and students should follow protocols and ensure they are safe. Who should go and work for you to be paid with the money they generate? Go to work and just protect yourself.
So if all other workers and essential service providers like those at GRIDCo, ECG and others also say they are scared of the COVID-19 and won’t work, how will the country run? When they leave the country comes crumbling down. So teachers need to be in school”.
Mathew Opoku Prempeh said it will be a sin for him to ask that schools close down.
According to him, apart from continuing the academic work, keeping the students in the various schools will protect the students from rape and other social vices in their various communities.
“Kwame we reopened the schools to protect the students. Do you know what may happen to some of them when they are home? They could be opened up to rape predators and other vices. Some cannot even feed themselves so keeping them in school is better and even the school is the best place to isolate. I will be committing a sin if I ask that because of some few cases I ask that schools are closed down.”
The Education Minister noted that the country hasn’t recorded extreme number of cases and will only close schools down if the health experts envisage danger when the numbers are rising but until then, there is the need for the students to stay in schools to prepare and write their exams.
The Education Minister noted that apart from the few numbers, government is paying salaries and cannot make teachers stay home and pay them so there is the need for them to work for the monies being paid to them by the government of Ghana.
Mathew Opoku Prempeh said calls on government to close down the schools due to the negligence of one headmistress is unfounded. He said the headmistress needs to be dealt with by the Ghana Education Service for her negligence.
“You can’t use one headteacher’s negligence as a platform to call on government to close down schools. What needs to be done is to deal with the headmistress whose negligence brought about the death of the student.”
The Minister of Education said staff at the Ministry of Education were traced and tested and are currently in isolation; something he believes is not even safe because most workers do not have houses where they will have access to the toilet and bath and everything in one room.”If I have 50 staff at the Ministry, 45 persons have tested and are currently in isolation in their houses
He used the opportunity to call on Ghanaians to adhere to the various protocols put in place by the Ghana Health Service.