Parents are weighing the risk of allowing their children to return to school in the wake of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Surveys conducted by the Daily Graphic on the possible reopening of schools revealed divergent opinions of parents.
Some parents in Accra said they would allow their children to return to school only when the COVID-19 cases had completely gone down or there was a cure.
A medical doctor, Dr Prince Nuamah, said: “I am uncertain about how safe the school environment would be for my children in view of the fact that the country hasn’t yet approved of RDTs to know all who have the virus.”
A mother, Mrs Abena Agyeiwaa, said although she was comfortable with the preventive protocols being prescribed, contextually, it would be difficult for most of the schools to implement them.
“I don’t think we should be in a rush to send the children back to school now that it is clear children are not insulated from contracting the virus,” Tilly Mensah-Ansah, another parent said.
In Kumasi, parents were divided over the issue. While some believed it was dangerous to resume academic work now, some clamoured for the resumption, while others were undecided, writes Daniel Kenu.
Those who clamoured for the early reopening said they were overburdened with work and taking care of children.
Some said their resources were overstretched because, since the closure, they have had to hire the services of caretakers to manage their homes while they were at work.
Mr Kwadwo Ayisi, a banker and his wife, Maa Ataa, a trader, who are residents of the Asuoyeboa SSNIT Flats, told the Daily Graphic that the closure of the schools had brought untold hardship on them.
For his part, a second hand clothes dealer, Yaw Bonsie Adu, said because of crowded dormitories and classrooms, it would be difficult to ensure social distancing and other such protocols in schools.
Mercy Akpene Amevor reports from Tema that some parents whose children attend public basic schools in the metropolis expressed doubts about the reopening of schools amid the community spread of the coronavirus.
A cross-section of parents who spoke to the Daily Graphic said with the conversion of some public school parks into satellite markets by the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), it would be impossible for schools and the market to operate in the same environment.
A parent, Mr David Serebour Boateng, was of the view that the time was not ripe to reopen schools.
Mrs Matilda Agyeman, a parent, also said children should not be made to return to school now.
George Folley reports from Koforidua that a cross-section of parents in the New Juaben Municipality in the Eastern Region have appealed to the government to put in place well-grounded measures before reopening schools.
This, according to them, was to ensure that the health of children was not jeopardised.
They said in as much as they wanted their children to be in school, their health needs must be considered.
A parent, Mr Albert Nartey, said looking at the population in most schools, observing social distancing would be difficult.
From Cape Coast, Shirley Asiedu-Addo reports that some residents have appealed to the government to bring the pandemic under control before reopening schools.
They indicated that nothing was more important than the safety and well-being of the people for which reason pupils and students must not be rushed into going back to school until the pandemic was brought under control.
Mr Ebo Ryder, a mechanic, said there was no need to rush to reopen schools when the number of cases kept increasing.
From Bolgatanga, Vincent Amenuveve reports that there were mixed reactions from parents, teachers and guardians over the proposal.
While some parents said they would not mind sending their children to school provided the necessary health protocols would be observed in the schools, others said they would give it a second thought because they were not sure the health protocols would be strictly observed.
Among those who shared their opinions with the Daily Graphic were Osman Abubakari, Meshach Aguna, Sampana Osman, Stephen Ayimbilla, Johnson Adongo and Ms Monica Anaba.
Parents in Ho in the Volta Region also expressed diverse opinions about a possible reopening of schools, writes Mary Anane-Amponsah.
Ms Hannah Essuman, a teacher, expressed fear of an escalation in infections if schools reopened now due to a possible failure of adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Another parent, Ms Agnes Ayite, said allowing her children to go to school would only put them at a higher risk.
However, Mr Dzidefo Akude welcomed the idea because children were losing critical contact hours and may be left behind in the academic year.
Samuel Duodu reports from Tamale that there were mixed reactions over the issue.
While some residents said they were not frightened by the increase in the number of cases of the COVID-19, others expressed worry over the situation.
Some were of the opinion that the wearing of nose masks and social distancing protocols must be made mandatory and enforced to contain the spread of the virus.
Mr Paul Achonga Kwode, a lecturer at the Tamale Technical University (TTU), said adequate measures must be put in place before the schools were reopened.
Some parents in Sekondi/Takoradi said they were not sure if they would send their children to school if it was reopened today, writes Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu.
However, a parent, Agnes Mensah, said it would be a great relief for her if schools were reopened now, even though she expressed concern about the safety of children.