Schools are reopening - how do teachers feel about it?

Welcome to our weekly blog for Teacher Tapp Ghana!

Every Monday we summarise our most surprising and interesting survey findings from the week before. This weekly blog provides an easy way for you to learn about the experiences and opinions of teachers across Ghana.

Please encourage your colleagues to use the Teacher Tapp app to keep engaged with education even when they’re not teaching. Your responses are also a vital data source that GES will be using to help in their decision-making around best policies and approaches to managing the current crisis.

If you’d like to bring more teachers to Teacher Tapp, please share this blog with your colleagues and encourage them to use the download links at the bottom of the page. In the mean time, here are this week’s intriguing findings…

1. Back to School

Last Monday the selective reopening off JHS and SHS schools was announced for the middle of June. After all this time, how do teachers feel about this plan?

Support is generally strong among teachers, with 70% of you being fans of the reopening plan.

Despite this general support for the plan, teachers clearly still have concerns and reservations. When asked to select which term best reflects your feelings about the reopening, the most common responses were ‘Anxious’ and ‘Confused’.

Anxiety is understandable given the ongoing, although small, risk of infection. Teachers may also be concerned about the pressure on them to get catch students up on lost learning and ensuring students have a positive return to school after a difficult time away.

Confusion may suggest incomplete communication from GES and heads of school. But it might also be that it’s quite confusing when we try to image what schools will be like with social distancing measures!

2 . Teachers put students first

Regular virus testing will not be part of the return to school regime. However, if it was, who is it more important for schools to test?

When we asked you this question, we were somewhat surprised that you overwhelmingly supported students taking priority.

Why were we surprised? Well, the evidence is clear that the older you are, the more likely you are to suffer from the virus. Students, especially under the age of 12, are very unlikely to have the virus and are very unlikely to pass it on to anyone else. This suggests that it is more important for teachers to be tested for the virus.

However, in some ways we weren’t surprised at all by this response. After all, we know by now that you always put the interests of your students about your own!

3 . Building for the future

Senior high school education for all young people is a relatively recent development for all countries, including Ghana.

This might explain why there is a routine shortage of SHS places and the Ghanaian government has pledged to build more schools. This seems to be an initiative most of our users would support, with 80% of you telling us that you want more senior high schools built in your area.

As schools gradually reopen and GES starts to articulate its post-COVID educational policy, will building new high schools be a priority? It is possible that the focus may remain on younger students where many of the biggest learning deficits will be. There’s along a lingering question about money – will the economic impact of the virus leave the government with enough money for large scale construction projects? Time will tell…

4. Finally, we know you’re finding our daily readings useful, so here are all of the ones from last week…

PLUS, nearly all our readings this week have been written by teachers in Ghana! Read them here –

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