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Policy brief

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 amongst Ghanaian students

Guidelines for the Ghana Ministry of Education ahead of reopening schools

15 May 2020

As part of its response to combat COVID-19, Ghana’s Ministry of Education (MoE) temporarily shut down its schools. To reopen schools, effective guidelines to protect students, staff, parents, and the larger society against COVID-19 spread must be developed and implemented. This note describes recommendations MoE should consider as they look to reopen schools and review related initiatives in other countries.

Dnshitobu, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Preparing the reopening of schools - 460 KB

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Overarching strategies

  • Issue national and subnational health guidelines to ensure students and staff safety.
  • Prepare critical financing plans to cover the additional costs that schools will face to ensure preparedness.
  • Assess school WASH infrastructure readiness and availability of hygiene resources in schools.
  • Establish an effective communication and coordination mechanism to build trust and consensus.
  • Ensure continuity of learning, especially for vulnerable populations.
  • Build system resilience.
  • Develop robust health monitoring systems to ensure the timely identification of resurgence of community transmission.

Additional considerations

  • The decision to reopen schools should depend on the compliance of robust infrastructure and health and sanitation protocols that could contain the spread of COVID-19. Unless these measures are effectively implemented, we would advise a lot of caution in the decision to proceed with school reopening.
  • Authorities should allow for experimentation of different strategies to develop a more nuanced understanding of the most effective and feasible measures.