The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has said it is working hard to educate Ghanaians on the preventive measures against the coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
“As a commission, we are constitutionally mandated to educate the citizenry on their civic rights and responsibilities; the commission is equally aware that the health of the nation is actually its wealth so even before we had our first confirmed COVID-19 case in the country, we had begun some education of the citizenry on the pandemic on social media in some of the districts,” the Chairperson of the commission, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday.
Notwithstanding this effort, Ms Nkrumah said the commission was constraint logistically to do more and, therefore, called on the public to be measured in their criticism against it.
According to the NCCE chairperson, the commission had not received any funding to undertake educational activities since the beginning of this year.
“This year, we have not received any money and the little we have is what we gave to them.
“For instance, out of the money we have, we were able to give only GH¢100 to each of our offices in the 216 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies last month to undertake some activities,” Ms Nkrumah lamented
In spite of that coupled with the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its staff, the commission was working hard to educate Ghanaians on the preventive measures against COVID-19, she said.
Ms Nkrumah noted that at the time, a lot of the education focused on the safety protocols; washing of hands with soap under running water, use of hand sanitisers, sneezing and coughing and disposing of tissues used, as well as understanding the meaning of social distancing.
She said the commission later sent proposals to the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Finance to source for funding to undertake more targeted education.
“Even though we have not received any funding in that regard, the commission has taken a position that this is a matter that involves everybody and so we began with the help of our district assemblies to intensify our education.
“Along the line, we had the support of the Church of Pentecost, which offered us the use of 12 vans to cover all the regions as well as fuel and drivers for the vehicles.”
With the support from the Church of Pentecost, the commission’s education went beyond educating people on the safety protocols to a three-pronged strategy, reducing fear and panic, educating on the compliance with the Imposition of Restrictions Act and educating to disabuse people’s minds on the myth associated with the disease.
Ms Nkrumah indicated that before then the commission had two information vans that concentrated its activities in the Greater Accra Region because the region had been the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
She expressed concern about the attitude of some Ghanaians, who in spite of the series of education on the preventive measures against COVID-19, defy the directives.
“We are working but some Ghanaians too are stubborn. We have seen a lot of indiscipline in the society, she said,” adding that the lack of enforcement of law was also responsible for the indiscipline in the country.
Ms Nkrumah said despite the lifting of the partial lockdown that was imposed on some parts of the country: Accra, Kumasi, Tema and Kasoa, the commission was going to intensify its education on COVID-19, since its situation was fluid.