President of Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Government has pledged to absorb GH¢75.4 million of the 2020 WASSCE examination fees of final year students.

A total of 313,837 students are expected to sit for the exams after spending the next six weeks in school.

The students are returning to school to prepare for their exit examination for the first time after the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of educational institutions.

Again, 1,167 Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country are reopening for the return of the final year students and the gold track students.

The schools, which have been fumigated and disinfected amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, would be opened for the next six weeks as the final year students prepare for the exit exams and the gold track complete their second term syllabus.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo disclosed this in his 12th update on the Covid-19 on Sunday and indicated that each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilators, and school administrators would be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks.

Protective pieces of equipment, he said, have been distributed to the reopening schools including veronica buckets, rows of tissue paper, gallons of liquid soap and sanitizers, and thermometer guns.

He indicated that the directive on mass gathering and sporting activities is still in effect but noted that under the new protocol, religious activities will be permitted under obligatory social distancing and wearing of face mask.

President Akufo-Addo reassured that the schools have been mapped to various health facilities and that care will be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to the schools.

He noted that 1.2 million children are enrolled in school because of the free SHS policy, a historical feat.

He said, “Let’s pause for a moment to consider what would have happened to the 400,000 more students who have entered SHS between 2017 and 2019 without this policy.

“We introduced free SHS because history and the experiences of developed nations have shown that the most efficient way to empower the population and thereby guarantee the future of the nation is by investing in education and skills training of the youth.”

He pointed out that it is the youth who going to build Ghana but argued without an educated populace it will be difficult to transition from the status of the developing to a developed nation.

He assured parents and guardians the government is determined to protect the lives of the 800,000 teachers and non-teaching staff who be returning to school.