Ms Evelyn Nana Yaa Antwi Nuamah, Director of Evangelism and Counselling Outreach has stated that parents, teachers, and students need psychological support to confront the trauma of re-opening of schools in the midst of scaring COVID-19.
“We should not discount the trauma these group of people are currently going through, emotionally these people are engaged in a battlefield whether to go back or not.
“These emotional battles confronting parents, teachers and students if not managed well, could derail and destabilize them as …we all have different levels of managing crises,” Ms Nuamah told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.
Ms Nuamah therefore advised parents, teachers and students to consider the psychological trauma as normal phenomenon in the face of the major uncertainties, and seek counselling and psychological support in extreme situations.
She also urged parents, teachers and students to adjust to the new normal as school re-opens; “the whole world is treading on dangerous and unknown grounds”.
She noted that parents and teachers who are traumatized by the re-opening of the schools in view of the COVID-19 pandemic to calm down and consult on how to effectively deal with their fears.
“Students must also share any fears they have with their parents for advise…if you are afraid to go back to school discuss with your parents for the necessary support,” Ms Nuamah noted.
She urged the authorities to strictly enforce the guidelines of washing hands with soap regularly under running water, maintaining social distancing, and wearing of the face masks.
“Some people will be confident if they see these measures being enforced and it is paramount for their survival, posting of educational materials at vantage points, use of the thermometer gun, we must physically create the sense of security and enforce all the health protocols,” she noted.
Ms Nuamah however admitted that, even though practically it would not be easy to comply with all the directives, for the safety and wellbeing of society we must make the efforts to strictly enforce it.
She advised them to be cautious and obey all protocols to prevent themselves from the virus.
She said, at every point in time, they should be aware of their body changes to be given quick support.
She stressed that a balance diet was important at this stage to boost their immune system since most diets were mostly carbohydrates, so more vegetables and fruits should be added to diets to be balanced.
Ms Nuamah described teachers as educational COVID-19 frontline staff who must be equipped with Personal Protective Equipment whilst encouraging them to adhere to all protocols.
“If the students see their teachers adhering to the protocols they would also emulate, again the school authorities should motivate teachers with some incentives for them to be happy in doing their work and not seen as risking their lives,” she said.
As the saying goes, “Charity Begins At Home”, so parents should encourage their children to adhere to the protocols starting from home and not to put fear in them.
Ms Nuamah, said administrations should ensure that all the World Health Organization and Ghana Health Service directives on COVID-19 protocols were observed including; the fumigation of the classrooms, providing everything needed to keep the children and teachers safe.