Schools will surely reopen across the world and Ghana along with all the other four WAEC countries will have to come out with 2020 WASSCE timetable for candidates. But have you thought of how all this will be done? Below are highly possible decisions to expect.
In the worse scenario, Ghana may not open basic schools to the SHS level until September 2020. If that happens, the question will be, do students get promoted to the next class or should all of them be repeated for one more year. Well, if we intend to ensure this does not happen, then the traditional school calendar must change, which means the new academic year may not start in September for a while.
WASSCE / BECE 2020
We do not expect the above decision to affect final year students for the 2020 BECE and WASSCE examinations anyway. Countries including Ghana need to come out with a National Return to School Protocol (NRSP). The GES seems to have started something in this direction with stakeholders such as the GNAT.
This National Return to School Protocol (NRSP) must address key issues with health and public safety high on the agenda.
Typical of Ghana, coming out with appropriate guidance is not a problem, but the effective and efficient implementation is always our headache.
As it stands can our schools observe the existing safety protocols? The answer is no. This may call for the shift system to reduce class sizes. This will be safer, especially in many private schools where there are already fewer numbers compared to the public basic schools.
Social distancing and compliance with public health guidance must be prioritized, but would we station health officers and security personnel in every school to ensure compliance?
For those preparing for the BECE and WASSCE, one of the best options for governments and the examining body is to reopen schools for only these students first. This will make available more space per student. The examinations should be written in each school. WAEC should for the purposes of safety make each school an exams centre or merge two close schools together as exams centres within the same community.
With this in place, each exam hall can have not more than 15 candidates depending on the class size. Reopening schools for only final year SHS students will make sure there are more dormitories for practicing the needed social distancing.
Most schools in Ghana have several entry points, blocking these and providing a single entry point can help ensure records of persons coming into the schools can be taken before they enter.
Beefing up safety in common touch areas within the schools must be improved just as hand sanitizers, gloves, face masks usage.
There is so much we can do and put in place ahead of a possible reopening. Add your suggestions in the comment session. Knowledge is not the preserve of one person. Let us begin to think outside the box now!
Source: Wisdom Hammond