A primary school may ban a Ghanaian teacher, identified as Mr. Prempah, from visiting because parents fear he might spread Ebola – even though his country has had no recorded cases of the disease.
According to the Dailymail, Christopher Baines, headteacher of Howden-le-Wear Primary School, has bowed to pressure and agreed it ‘may be sensible’ to scrap the event next Monday.
Parents are threatening to pull their children out of school because they said they were not getting ‘total reassurance’ he will not bring Ebola with him.
Howden-le-Wear primary school, near Crook, County Durham, is partnered with the Great Commission Academy, a school in Ghana.
In April teachers from the British school visited Ghana to meet students and other teachers, but now the return visit has proved unpopular with some parents.
This is despite Ebola cases only coming from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, none of which even share a border with Ghana.
One mother, who asked to remain anonymous, said: ‘We have known about the trip for three or four weeks. We don’t want to cause any hysteria, we just want to voice our concerns,’ she said.
‘This is not a witch hunt by any means, the children love the visits and the visitors are always so lovely.
‘The letter we have got today addresses our concerns, but it doesn’t say that there is absolutely no chance of Ebola coming over, and that’s what we want – total reassurance.’
In his letter to parents yesterday Mr Baines said flights to and from Ghana remain unaffected by the virus and the visiting teacher poses no risk.
It, however, appears like he has changed his mind.
He said: ‘Having listened very carefully to concerns reiterated by some parents this morning and in the interests of preserving our excellent relationship with them and the wider local community, I will be liaising with our governing body and the British Council today and we will make a decision following these discussions regarding the planned visit next week.
‘This was designed to be an enriching experience for both pupils here and our visitor from Ghana and it is important for everyone that it is a success and focuses solely on the outcomes of our Connecting Classrooms project.
‘While the expert advice we have been given remains that Ghana is not one of the countries identified as having the Ebola virus and to date no cases of the virus have been recorded there, it may be that the sensible decision is to postpone this visit.’