What makes nonsense of that argument is that the people who are, for example, going to basic school (final year students) are about 750,000, are they going to vote? The basic schools, are they also going to vote?”
Words of the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Joy News ‘Beyond the Lockdown’ last Sunday evening.
He was responding to assertions from some session of the public that, the reason for government reopening schools for final-year students is to win the ruling New Patriotic Party votes of final year Senior High School students who are beneficiaries of government’s Free SHS policy in the upcoming presidential elections in December.
According to him, the Senior High School students who have been singled out by the critics, which he points out are championed by members of the opposition National Democratic Congress, forms only a portion of the students who have resumed schooling and, therefore, it makes no sense for such an argument to be put forth.
“I am saying that what makes nonsense of that argument is the fact that if you look at basic schools, they are not going to register to vote. The argument has been that we want these final year students to go and complete their examination and go out. Those at Senior High Schools again complete and go out, form two gold track who haven’t finished for them to complete. Tertiary, those who are going are those who are going to complete their exams and indeed tertiary institutions that have completed their exams have said clearly that they will not even open up because they have completed their exams. If you put all of this together, that argument of reopening for registration and voting is thrown out of the window,” he argued.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has served notice SHS students whose parents have picked them from campuses over COVID-19 fears will be isolated during exams.
According to the Chairman of the GES Council Michael Nsowah, the intention of the planned action is to ensure that the students coming from home do not put their colleagues who stayed on campus at risk.
The comments come after scores of parents trooped to several schools to pick their wards after reports of coronavirus outbreak some schools in the country.
“If we are unable to contain the pandemic in schools and send the students home, are we not endangering the general community? Parents are free to take their children home but when the time comes for exams, they [Students] will be isolated,” he said in an interview with Starr News.