Improving Education Delivery for Development [Part 2]
This is the concluding part of an earlier essay which established the need to improve education delivery post-Covid-19. As of 11:00hours GMT today,Thursday May 21, 2020, the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Centre websiteput the Covid-19 global case count at over 5 million with over 300,000 deaths whilst the Ghana Health Service Portal also reported over6,000 cases with 31 deaths in the country.
The World Health Organization has warned that the virus may linger for a while longer and advised the world to brace itself up to live with it. On may 15, at the regular briefing of the Ministry of Information, Ghana’s Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, echoed similar concerns when he advised Ghanaians to, “come to terms with the virus and live with it.”It has now become almost imperative the need to psych ourselves up to live with the virus as we go about our daily lives.
This piece contains suggestions on how to ensure school continues safely while the world awaits the development of vaccines to combat the virus. In a letter dated May 14, addressed to teacher union stakeholders in education, the Ghana Education Service (GES) asked for inputson what to do to enforce health protocols should schools reopen, to ensure the safety of all. The six pointers below should prove noteworthy for the prevention and control of Covid-19.
- School infrastructure:The challenges bedeviling Ghana’s school infrastructure are known to everyone in this country. Frominadequate classrooms to insufficient furniture, the list is endless. The resultant overcrowding in classrooms and dormitories is something that should be looked at critically and immediate and concrete solutions sought
- Discipline: Discipline in schools remains a grey area for many. In spite of the ban on corporal punishment in schools and the introduction of Positive Discipline, caning and other forms of corporal punishment still occur in some schools. Caning definitely narrows the distance between teacher and offending learner. Strict enforcement of the Positive Discipline toolkit as an alternative should prove helpful at a time such as this.
- Transportation: How do teachers and learners transport themselves to school daily? Working out a safe transportation strategy for learners and teachers to ensure less contact while they are on their way to and from school should be seriously considered.
- Counseling: Covid-19 comes along with trauma and fear. Some learners and teachers may have relations at home living with the virus and the traumatic toll on them may affect their performance at school. An improved school counseling regime should help in reducing stress to enable teaching and learning to occur effectively.
- WASH: Water, Sanitation and Hygiene remain a challenge in most schools across the country. The fight against Covid-19 depends largely on WASH. More efforts and resources are required in this direction.
- School Infirmaries: How many schools still have well-resourced infirmaries these days? Is it not time yet to devote some extra funds to provide schools with these facilities?
Education delivery through Covid-19 definitely cannot be done with the business-as-usual mindset. All hands on deck!!
Source: Bruce Senam McBrian