Management of second cycle institutions in the Upper East Region have called on government to take immediate steps to ensure that health workers are posted to the various schools to test students who are expected to return to school on Monday.
They made the call when the Ghanaian Times visited some schools in the region on Wednesday to find out the preparations the schools were making towards the re-opening on Monday, June 22, 2020.
It would be recalled that on June 14, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 11th address on COVID -19, announced that the final year students of Senior High Schools and gold track second year students are expected to return to school on Monday June 22, 2020.
The head teachers acknowledged that although government’s promise to supply teachers and students with some Personal Protective Equipment was good, it was also very important for the government to ensure that the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service post some frontline workers to the various schools to screen students before allowing them onto the various campus.
According to the head teachers, such measures would ensure that students who had the symptoms of the COVID-19 are identified, isolated and treated to avert infection.
The schools management stated as part of measures put in place for the return of the students, their schools have been fumigated and they have acquired few COVID -19 logistics such as Veronica buckets, hand sanitisers and soaps to ensure both teachers and students practiced regular handwashing.
The Headmistress of the Bolgatanga Girls’ Senior High School (BOGISS), Mrs Patricia Anaba, said the management of the school has decided that the number of students per table be reduced from 12 to six students while only 20 students would be in each dormitory as against the normal 40.
While indicating that the school had few sanitation materials including Veronica buckets, hand sanitisers and soap positioned at vantage points to encourage hand washing, the Headmistress appealed to government to increase the PPE especially the nose masks for each teacher and student from the planned three to five.
The headmaster of the Bolgatanga Senior High School, Mr Afelbeik Ababu, on his part, said the school was ready for the students to resume and gave the assurance that the management of the school had put measures in place to ensure that all the protocols of the COVID-19 are strictly adhered to.
He said apart from the school being fumigated, the schooalso has in stock some Personal Protective Equipment for the staff in addition to the procurement of 20 Veronica buckets, soaps, and hand sanitiSers among others.
The Headmaster stated that that the classes have also been reduced to between 25 and 30 while the dining sitting arrangement also reduced from 12 to six persons per table and the number of students in each dormitory also cut down.
The Senior House Master of the Bolgatanga Technical Institute (BOTECH), Mr Joseph Tham, told the Ghanaian Times that the school was running only one track and that about 830 final years students would be returning to school.
He explained that all the necessary protocols and directive of the COVID-19 had been put in place waiting for the return of the students to school for academic work.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA