President Nana Akufo-Addo in his 12th address on measures taken so far to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus has indicated government’s dedication to absorb the examination fees of final year students who returned to school on Monday, 15th June, to prepare and sit their final examination.
Addressing the nation as final year SHS and second year Gold Track students prepare to return to school, the President indicated that 75.4 million cedis will be spent on the exercise.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, government will absorb the WASSCE examination fees of the 313,837 SHS 3 students who will sit for the exams. GHC 75.4 million cedis will be spent on this, he said”.
In light of the current precaution being taken by all and sundry to prevent the transmission of the virus and rate of infection the President assured parents of government preparedness to ensure the safety of these students.
He said, “I take this opportunity to assure all parents and guardians that Government is determined to protect the lives of the eight hundred thousand (800,000) students, teachers and non-teaching staff, who will be returning to school from tomorrow. I will be the last person to put the lives of the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates at risk”.
President Akufo-Addo urged strict adherence to all Covid-19 protocols when the schools reopen. “Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some 800,000, will be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks, i.e. two being provided tomorrow, and the third within a fortnight”.
“A total of 18,000 Veronica Buckets, 800,000 pieces of 200 sanitizers, 36,000 rolls of tissue paper, 36,000 gallons of liquid soap, and seven thousand, 7,200 thermometer guns have been distributed,” he added.
He also indicated that the next batch of students that will resume school on Monday, 22nd June will be final year students and also second year Gold track students.
“On Thursday, I held consultation with members Conference Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), and the Association of Principals of Technical Institutes (APTI), to agree on the modalities for the return of the students”.
According to the President, government will also make available three hundred and fifty (350) buses and eight hundred and forty (840) pickup vehicles to some senior high schools that did not receive vehicles in 2016. “Through the National Food and Buffer Stock Company, enough food supplies have been distributed to all schools” he added.
In spite of Government provision of face masks to students, the President advised and urged parents to provide their wards and children with at least one face covering on their way to school and also highlighted the fact that only a maximum of 25 students will be permitted in each class.
The president in his parting indicated his strong desire for Ghana to have a great stock of educated people who will contribute towards the development of the country. He said, “Without an educated populace, it will be difficult to transition from the status of a developing to a developed nation”.