Overpopulated schools to run shift system

The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directors of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the Northern Region have been given the mandate to implement the shift system in basic schools where there is a huge population of students in the wake of schools reopening amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Regional Director of the GES, Dr Peter Attafuah said the school authorities must be guided by the COVID-19 safety protocols and avoid overcrowding in the classrooms.

He observed the reason why some parents in the rural communities prefer one school to the other is because of the National School Feeding Programme.

Dr Attafuah explained that some parents always want to enrol their children in schools where the school feeding programme is being implemented compared to schools that do not enjoy the intervention.

He has therefore reiterated that the district directors have been given the power to run the shift system to curb the spread of the virus within the schools. 

Dr Attafuah also urged parents and guardians not to force their wards when the schools have inadequate space to enrol new entrants.

The GES Director’s comments come at the back of a recent incident in the Sagnarigu municipality where a parent was turned away with her child when she went to seek admission.

Dr Attafuah further admonished disgruntled parents and guardians to consider other schools when they are turned away at schools where there is no space for new entrants.

According to him, there is inadequate furniture for the pupils, explaining the response of parents for their children to return to school has been overwhelming.

“The only challenge is that most of the children do not have furniture to sit on, apart from that their response to school has been very great, quite encouraging. We have been doing on a lot of ‘Back to School Campaign’ so that stakeholders and parents would let their wards comeback to school”, he noted.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with THE CUSTODIAN, the GES Boss indicated that the school environment is safe for teaching and learning.

“The schools as we speak, everywhere is without the virus because the government has done the fumigation and if there are bacteria or the virus sitting anywhere, it would have been condemned by now and the government too has provided Veronica buckets and their stands and the only thing the schools would do is to provide water so they could be washing their hands frequently.”

He added that hand sanitizers and liquid soaps have also been supplied and the District directorates of the Ghana Education Service have picked up the items for distribution to the schools.

“We are waiting for the nose masks, pieces have already been provided to the wards before coming to school and very soon we will receive them and we hope every child would be given by the government” Dr Attafuah said.

Meanwhile, the reopening of schools nationwide as announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo was greeted with mixed reactions, particularly so at a time the country is experiencing a surge in the number infected cases of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of the treatment and isolation centres in Ghana are now overstretched with a huge number of infections with the new variant of the virus being detected in the country.