He said the socio-economic demands of the female students make it impossible for parents to spend a lot of time with their children adding that their families cannot guarantee them three square meals a day.
He made this known during the second phase of the nationwide disinfection and fumigation of markets and public places on July 27, 2020, in Tamale.
"But if you look at our markets right from Makola, Agbogbloshie, Tamale, Bimbila, Walewale to Navrongo, you will see the young ones who are selling on the various markets and these are students exposed without using a face mask or practicing social distancing.
"These students are even more at risk as they are staying at home than confining in the school environment," he said.
He charged Ghanaians to look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic before making remarks of closing schools for this year because those in schools are even more protected than being at home.
"Many of these students are tired of staying at home because they just wake up each morning roaming aimlessly in town and are more exposed to the virus than those in school.
"Those who are calling for schools to close down should rethink again because I am a local person even though I’m a minister, I go to the grass-root, local communities and markets are flooded with these same students," he stated.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his first televised nation's address on Sunday, March 15, 2020, directed for the closure of all schools in the country as part of measures to curb the novel coronavirus.