Senior high school students, specifically those in 12th grade all across the country resumed classes Monday, 29 June in their respective schools to prepare for the upcoming West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) slated for 4 August this year, after coronavirus outbreak forced authorities to shut down schools for several months.
A 6:00pm curfew imposed by the government still remains in place due to rising coronavirus cases, and transportation could well remain a major constraint for many of the returning senior high school students if they have to stay longer hours on campuses before struggling for transport cars with other commuters.
During tour on high school campuses Monday, 29 June by this paper, some students were seen around street concords while others were in classes carrying on their normal learning activities, observing some preventive measures.
The president of the student council government at St. Simon Baptist School System MsHawa J. Manie expresses happiness over the resumption of classes following the three months break due to the coronavirus pandemic. She however calls on the government to revisit the time limit for people being allowed to stay out, or make adjustments in the time that students must stay in school.
She continues that upon their return to school, they were told by their administration that the Ministry of Education wants them to be on campus from 8:30am to 5pm daily. Student Manie complains that this time limit is a serious challenge for them, taking into account that curfew starts at 6:00 pm.
Student Manie further points out that some students live very far from their school campuses, saying to ask them to leave school by 5pm is not a good idea for their safety. Another student from the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) High School Ms. Tracy Blamo tells this paper that her being in school is just due to the fact that the government ordered schools to resume classes.
According to her, she and her parents are faced with a lot of challenges in getting her fully prepared for the resumption of school because they are not working due to the pandemic. She explains that getting transportation to be in school is challenging for her, noting that even payment of her school fees is another issue her parents are fighting to settle.
For his part, the Principal of G. W. Gibson High School Mr. Moses W. Kangar, Jr. says the opening of school is not a bad thing, but notes that there are lots of things that the government needs to put in place in order to give the students a perfect learning environment.
Mr. Kangar continues that before the opening of classes, the government through the Ministry of Education held a one – day workshop for principals here, but since then, items that were promised by government in the workshop toward schools’ reopening are yet to be given.
By Ben P. Wesee–Edited by Winston W. Parley