Junior High Schools final year students resume school today, to prepare for their Basic Education Certificate Examinations expected to be written in September.
This forms part of the road map of gradual easing of restrictions and returning the country back to normal, as announced by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a broadcast, after broad consultation with stakeholders.
The students have been at home since March, as a result of the closure of schools as part of measures to check the spread of the novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2) that is responsible for the deadly COVID-19 disease.
Originally, these young ones would have finished writing their exams and awaiting results to get admissions into their dream Senior High Schools. Their academic calendar has been distorted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
That notwithstanding, they are back to school effective today and the Ghanaian Times welcomes them back to school and wishes them the best in their preparations towards their exit exam and pray that they come out with flying colours and progress to the next stage in their academic journey.
Of worthy to note is that while at home, the government rolled out distance learning, through the television broadcasting to keep the children learning at home, while some schools also created online platforms to engage the students.
In addition, the government has undertaken the disinfection of schools and supply of personal protection equipment for the schools to ensure the safety of the children and teachers as they return to school.
We implore the school authorities to strictly enforce the health protocols, including wearing of nose masks, the regular hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitisers.
As children, and having been away from school for long, there is the tendency for them to be carried away by excitement and engage in gatherings for chit chats and other games.
The Ghanaian Times reminds the school authorities to be very strict in enforcing the social distancing protocol of 25 students per classroom and to ban all outdoor games in school.
While commending all the stakeholders and government for the elaborate plan for re-opening, we are disappointed that some unscrupulous people have taken delight in spreading fake news about the spread of the COVID-19 in some senior high schools.
It is very unfortunate and regrettable for such faceless persons to continue to play pranks with such a serious national and global health problem.
This is the time that we have to demonstrate the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in the fight to contain the spread of the disease and keep our country safe.
Indeed, this is not the time to spread fear and panic in schools; but a time to support the efforts of government and stakeholders to ensure the safety of students to motivate them in their final examinations.
We urge school children to remain resolutely focused on their studies and not to be deterred by these fake news, while reminding them that the COVID-19 is real and still spreading.
School authorities owe it a duty not to lower their guard as the children are back to school, during this critical period.
Once again, we wish them the best of studies and good luck in their final examinations and advise that they abide strictly to the health protocols to keep safe.