Towards easing current restrictions: The view of a concerned citizen
Now that we obviously know Covid-19 will be with us for sometime (only God can tell till when) especially until a potential vaccine is developed and accessed by all, we can only learn to live and survive in the “New Normal”.
So as the country’s leadership is planning on easing its current restrictions, we plead that, the government should ease the restrictions very cautiously and gradually with the aim of ensuring that, “the risk of mass population is reduced’ as possible as we can.
This is to avoid first, overwhelming our existing health facilities with high rate of infection cases or infected patients and secondly, to help consolidate our gains so far.
And I think for now in the category of Schools, religious gatherings and certain social functions (funerals, clubs), government should ONLY consider re-opening of schools to be the next on our priority list to leave the restrictions table.
MEASURES FOR REOPENING SCHOOLS
To manage the risk of mass population infections significantly, especially in the case should there be a general outbreak of Covid 19 infections in a particular school and for social distancing purposes considering our existing academic infrastructures; only final year students (that is, JHS 3, SHS 3 and Tertiary final year students) should be prioritised to go back to school.
This is so that they can finish up class/course work, and write final examinations successfully to help usher them with the system uninterrupted into their next phase of life.
The Education Ministry should hold a discussion with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) for them to hold this year’s WASSCE on country basis and not the usual general examination for all West African countries.
For the reason that, I guess not all countries are ready or have the means to ease their current coronavirus restrictions to accommodate students returning to school or partaking in the WASSCE.
For Continuing Students, we can then count this term or semester as a lost one; and have a new academic calendar structured moving forward. This may include some vacations being sacrificed to make up for lost time.
Importantly, we should increase the sensitisation on the preventive protocols and education against Covid 19 stigmatization for students returning to school, especially as we have most of our cases being asymptomatic patients and are not likely to lose their lives to coronavirus.
This will help identified students who may contract the virus, to self isolate, receive treatments with a sound mind and in good spirit so they can still focus on making progress with their academic work whiles in isolation and recovering. Stigma can kill more than coronavirus; Let’s teach citizens to show solidarity.
Remember if Government plans to ease restrictions, then the ultimate aim should be to reduce the risk of mass population infections at a time whiles regular life continues.