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We’ll not put students, teachers, non teaching staff at risk -President assures parents

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged parents whose wards are preparing to sit for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) this year to remain calm as the students return to school to prepare for the examination.

“I assure all parents and guardians that the government will not put the 750,000 students, teachers and non-teaching staff, who will be returning to school from tomorrow, at risk. We have made all the required provisions to protect them whilst in school,” he said

In a televised address to the nation on measures being taken by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the President said the government has put adequate measures to prevent an outbreak or spread of the pandemic in the schools.

About 532,000 final year Junior High School (JHS) students in 17,439 schools across the country returned to school Monday, June 29, 2020 to prepare to sit for the BECE.

As the country’s COVID-19 case count continues to increase, some parents have expressed concern over the safety of their wards following government’s decision to open schools for BECE candidates to prepare for their exams.

President Akufo-Addo said the government is determined to protect the lives of all students, teachers and other workers who will be going back to school.

In consultation with the Conference of Heads of Basic Schools and Regional and District Directors of Education and Health, he said the government has put in place the relevant measures to safeguard the lives of students and teachers.

President Akufo-Addo indicated that all Junior High Schools across the country have been fumigated and disinfected to ensure the safety of the students, teaching and non-teaching staff

Each basic school has been mapped to a health facility where care will be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to these schools, he said. 

The President said 45,000 Veronica buckets, 90,000 gallons of liquid soap, 90,000 rolls of tissue paper, 40,000 thermometer guns, 750,000 pieces of 200 litres of sanitisers, and 2.2 million reusable face masks have been procured and distributed to the 17, 439 schools across the country.

President Akufo-Addo noted that though there are few hitches during the reopening of the universities and senior high schools, he is impressed with the level of compliance to the enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols by authorities and students in those institutions. 

He expressed the government’s determination to ensure the same level of conformity in the Junior High Schools, and noted that all head teachers and their teaching staff will be taken through a COVID-19 sensitisation programme aimed at ensuring that hygiene and safety protocols are clearly spelt and relayed to students accordingly.

“It bears repeating, however, that they must all adhere strictly to enhanced personal hygiene and social distancing protocols, regularly wash their hands with soap under running water, refrain from shaking hands and hugging, and wear masks to protect themselves and others,” he said

BY YAW KYEI

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