President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured parents and guardians of Junior High School (JHS) final year students returning to school that the government will not put their lives at risk.
The required and relevant measures, he said, have therefore been made in consultation with heads of Conference of Basic Schools, regional and district directors for education and health, to protect the students, teachers and non-teaching staff.
He however urged strict compliance to the enhanced personal hygiene and social distancing and other protocols and wearing of nose mask for protection at all times.
The President gave the assurance during his 13th update on Sunday on measures taken against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
He assured that JHS across the country have been fumigated and disinfected to make the environment safer.
According to him, the government has, in addition, distributed 45,000 Veronica buckets, 90,000 gallons of liquid soap, 90,000 rolls of tissue paper, 40,000 thermometer guns, 750,000 pieces of 200ml hand sanitizers and 2.2 million reusable face masks.
These, he said, are intended to guarantee the safety of the students, teachers and non-teaching staff.
The President indicated two face masks for each student would be delivered before the close of Monday while the rest would be delivered during the course of the week.
He expressed satisfaction with the enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols by authorities and students at the universities and Senior High Schools.
Government, he said, is determined to replicate the success of these routines at the JHS level and will therefore organize COVID-19 sensitization programmes for all teachers from the first day of school through District Directors of Education and District Directors of Health.
“This will ensure the dos and don’ts of the protocols are clearly spelt out for head teachers for onward transmission to the students,” he said.
A total of 17,439 JHS will be reopening with 532,000 final year students expected to return to the classroom to prepare for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) with 218 teaching, non-teaching staff and invigilators.
President Akufo-Addo reassured that each basic school has been mapped to a health facility and nurses assigned to these schools to provide care for the sick.
He stressed that each class should hold not more than 30 students while learning hours will be reduced to four hours from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
“No breaks outside the classroom will be permitted. Assemblies and sporting events are banned and the use by outsiders of school premises for religious and other activities will not be allowed,” he warned.