AFRICA/GHANA - Covid-19 and education: consequences of the pandemic in rural areas of the country

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Accra (Agenzia Fides) - Schools across the country have reopened since January 18. However, at the time of reopening, several villages lacked the conditions for personal protection for all, and the situation is still not fully under control today. "It was a real show to see parents and children waiting to be registered in front of the school compounds, after 10 months of closure due to Covid-19", writes to Agenzia Fides father Paul Saa-Dade Ennin, Provincial Superior of SMA missionaries in Ghana.
"On the one hand, the parents were relieved to be able to bring their children back to school and the schoolchildren were happy to return to see their classmates after spending those long months at home doing housework alongside their parents, had to help in the markets or in the fields".
Fr. Paul who emphasizes that in the village of Babaso, Ejura-Sekyeredumase district in the Ashanti region, the school children wear masks and the local parish has provided the buckets and liquid soap for hand washing. "In this school context - says the missionary - social distancing is the main challenge. In the classrooms, the desks are arranged taking into account the required distances, but in some classes, due to the number of pupils and the size of the classroom, this was impossible. Teachers have great difficulties especially during the break - explains Fr. Paul -. It is simply impossible to let children play together while following the protocols. And in deprived rural areas like Babaso, immediate concrete government help is needed to prevent new outbreaks from occurring". The missionary also complains about the high number of school dropouts as a sad consequence of Covid-19 for children: "Your future will be seriously endangered if no strategic and appropriate measures are taken". (PE/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 24/2/2021)