Claim: Ghana Education Service confirms date schools will reopen
Source: Manasseh TV GH
Verdict: False and misleading
Researched by Rabiu Alhassan
A video clip of the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa allegedly confirming the date schools across the country will reopen is being widely circulated on social media.
Schools in Ghana have been shut since March 16 as the country tries to get a grip on the coronavirus spread situation.
The video clip was posted on YouTube by “Manasseh TV GH” on April 23, with the title “Finally: Resuming dates for all schools in Ghana are out. News from Director-General of GES.”
It has since racked up more than 15,700 views, making it the most-watched video on the about four-year-old YouTube Channel [set up on July 14,2016.]
GhanaFact first saw the video on Facebook and has since sought clarification from the Ghana Education Service.
We have also used YouTube search operators to find the original source of the video content being spread via social media.
Coronavirus: Ghana closes schools
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo directed all schools in the country to shut down effective March 16, 2020, after the country recorded 6 cases of the coronavirus.
In a national address on March 15, he said:
“All Universities, Senior High Schools, and basic schools, i.e. public and private schools, will be closed Monday, 16th March 2020, till further notice. The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communication, has been tasked to roll out distance learning programmes.”
“We have not made any decision on the reopening of schools. The video that is going around is actually an old video (old press conference) that we did. It has nothing to do with returning to school after COVID-19,” Head of the Public Relations Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Cassandra Twum Ampofo stated in an interview with GhanaFact.
The viral video has a GhanaWeb logo at the top right-hand corner which hinted us to limit our search to just published news clips by GhanaWeb, a leading digital news platform in Ghana.
GhanaFact used the double quotes YouTube search operator in our search and found that the original news clip by GhanaWeb was published on Aug 15, 2019, and was viewed 2,319 times.
It was published by the YouTube channel GhanaWeb TV, which has about 211,000 subscribers.
2019 press conference
The now-viral news clip is about an August 14, 2019 press conference by the Director-General of the GES, where he announced the dates basic and third-year senior high school students in Ghana were to report to school.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa announced that the 2019/2020 academic year for basic schools would begin on September 10, 2019, while all third-year senior high school (SHS) students were to report to school on August 19, 2019, to begin academic work.
UNESCO: record number of students home
School closures in 13 countries linked to the COVID-19 virus epidemic have disrupted the education of more than 290 million students, a record number, the UN education agency UNESCO said in a statement on March 5.
Official UNESCO figures at the time showed that the vast majority of learners affected are in China (over 233,000,000), followed by Japan (almost 16,500,000), and Iran (more than 14,500,000).
Reports that the Ghana Education Service has set a date for reopening of basic and second cycle schools are false.
Meanwhile, the unaltered news clip by GhanaWeb is being presented in an inaccurate manner to misrepresent the footage and mislead viewers.