Officials of the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA) on Friday, 8th January, 2021, met with Public and Private Schools to discuss the modalities for the re-opening of schools for the new academic year.
The virtual engagement is one of the many ways the Authority has adopted to guide and support school owners on how to successfully and safely open their schools in the midst of the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking at the virtual engagement, the Executive Director/Inspector-General of Schools of the National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA), Dr. Hilda Ampadu, stated, “NaSIA is committed to health and safety during the start of the new academic year in the midst of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. We want to ensure that schools are equipped with the right information amidst preparations for a safe physical re-opening in order to reduce the risk of infections on school campuses.”
According to Dr. Ampadu, “It is very important for school owners to meticulously follow the COVID-19 guidelines on school re-opening in order to keep learners, staff and non-teaching staff safe and healthy,” adding that, “our Inspectors will go round to monitor schools in order to ensure schools are adhering to all protocols.”
“In order to allay the fears of parents, management of schools must actively engage their Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) or Parent Forums to agree on ways they will work together to ensure the safety of learners.,” she added.
During the open forum, some of the major issues raised by the school owners and management were: COVID-19 testing for all learners, approved distance in the arrangement of classroom furniture, transportation, temperature checks, operating school canteens and provision of nose masks. Others were how to handle younger learners and what to do if some learners test positive for COVID-19. All issues were addressed by the Executive Director with the key advisory being: All schools must ensure they know who the Municipal Director of Health and the Disease Control Officer for their Municipality is. Should they experience a positive COVID-19 case or a suspicion, they have to inform the Municipal Health Directorate immediately; they will come in and take over the case and apply their protocols as necessary. This is usually at no cost to the school. Boarding houses are also advised to keep temporary isolation units for suspected cases before the Municipal Health Directorate takes over. COVID-19 is a national concern and we do not want schools to feel alone in this fight, she stressed. Schools that report positive cases are also required to inform NaSIA immediately.
About 300 International Curricular Schools and Private School Owners participated in the virtual engagement and majority of the attendees expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the steps NaSIA has taken to engage and support school owners as they prepare to welcome learners back to school.
About National Schools Inspectorate Authority
The National Schools Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA), an agency under the Ministry of Education, is an Independent Regulator of all Pre-Tertiary Educational Institutions (PTEIs) in Ghana.
Under the Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 (Act 1023), NaSIA is mandated to register, license and inspect both public and private PTEIs in Ghana. The Authority also provides an independent external evaluation of the quality and standards in PTEIs in the country on a periodic basis.