For final year students who are preparing to write their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), totaling 17, 439, President Akufo-Addo has intimated that, “they will be the final, and indeed, the largest batch of students to return to school”.
President Akufo-Addo who revealed this during his 13th address to the nation on measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus said this as he gave an update on how government has been able to bring the nation to “normalcy following the outbreak of the novel COVID-19”.
As part of the adherence to safety protocols by these students, the president said, “to protect the lives of these students, and all other personnel, Government has put in place the relevant measures… like Senior High Schools, Universities and other tertiary institutions, all Junior high schools across the country have been fumigated and disinfected.
“Additionally, we have procured and distributed forty five thousand Veronica buckets, Ninety thousand gallons of liquid soap, ninety thousand rolls of tissue paper, forty thousand thermometer guns, seven hundred and fifty thousand pieces of 200mls sanitizers and 2.2 million reusable masks”.
In an effort to guarantee the safety of these students, teaching and non-teaching staff, Akufo Addo intimated that each student is to receive three face masks, adding, “two masks each will be delivered tomorrow and the third within the next two (2) weeks”.
Although he expressed his profound excitement over the adherence to the enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols by all and sundry in the universities, tertiary schools and senior high schools, he however admitted, there has been some few challenges.
He said, “yes there have been a few hitches surrounding the re-opening, but largely, they have been smooth and seamless”.
The president also added that there will be a replication of the same level of conformity in the Junior high school through rigorous education. He said, “so through the District Directors of Education and the District Directors of Health, a COVID-19 sensitization programme will be organized for all head teachers and their teaching staff, from Monday, the first day of schools.
“This will ensure that dos and don’ts of the protocol are clearly spelt out for the teachers for onwards transmission to the student”.
As done in his 12th address to the nation, he reiterated his resolve to ensure that safety of both students and staff who will be returning to school.
According to him, “we have made all the required provisions to protect them whilst in school… they must all strictly adhere to enhanced personal hygiene and social distancing protocol”.
He further advised student to refrain from shaking hands, hugging and wear masks to protect themselves and others.
Akufo Addo stated rather worryingly that despite the hikes in COVID cases, GHS has observed that most deaths were as a result of most patients reporting late to health facilities as, “they died either on arrival at the hospital, or within forty eight hours after arrival”.