The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) says it will, today, present proposals to the National Census Steering Committee for consideration on the determination of the specific dates for the conduct of the 2020 National Population and Housing Census.
The proposals, according to the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim have been informed by the reopening of schools and weather conditions in the months scheduled for the census to take place.
At the sidelines of a news conference in Accra on Wednesday, Prof. Annim said, the service had studied the school calendar given them by the Ghana Education Service (GES) and realised that a particular stream of students could be in school at any point in time.
“Therefore, the meeting scheduled for Friday is going to serve as a platform for the service to negotiate with the GES to determine the best way possible to facilitate the training of officers for the census,” he said.
He further explained that the second consideration reside in the fact that, the month of April and May marks the highest peak of rainfall in the country, indicating that, “Considering the fact that about 62,000 officers would be moved around to conduct the exercise, renders the time frame unfavorable.”
Prof. Annim, however, stated that the service was sensitive to the disruptions in the schooling system, hence, it would consider an option that would not affect schools and also find ways to accommodate the challenges or deal with potential bad weather conditions.
The Government Statistician said he was optimistic that by next week, there would be a firm sense of the particular date for the conduct of the census, adding that the statistical agency would maintain April and May for the conduct of the exercise.
“The service is still under guidance of the presidential declaration of data collection occurring in April and May 2021,” Prof Annim emphasised.
Regarding the rise in the cases of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) recently, he stated that GSS was monitoring the situation to be able to adopt all measures necessary to ensure that the pandemic did not become a factor to hinder the progress of the census.
According to the Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the country has been recording an average of about 130 to 180 new cases daily in the last few days in January this year.
Per the last update on the Website of GSS the total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 56,981 as of January 11, 2021. Of this number, 175 were new cases; 1,404 active cases; 55,236 recoveries; while, 341 people have so far died of the disease.
BY FRANCIS NTOW AND CHRIS YAW NTENYINBU