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Ninety-four Junior High Schools in the Tema Metropolis on Monday opened for final students as directed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo after 15 weeks of closure due to COVID-19.

Authorities of the schools, both private and public on Monday collected their share of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by the government.

When the Ghana News Agency visited the central stores of the Ghana Education Service for Tema at Aggrey Road School, 40 schools had already collected their PPE with a number of school heads in a queue to collect theirs.

Mrs Evelyn Ansah, head of logistics at the Tema Education Directorate, said each of the 3,792 final year students was entitled to two face masks and one hand sanitizers adding that all staff of the schools would also receive their share.

Mrs Ansah added that each school also received thermometer guns, veronica buckets, gallons of liquid soap and tissue.

Meanwhile, officials of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) visited some schools to assess their readiness for classes. The officers included Mr Frank Asante, Public Relations Officer and Mr Joseph Korto, Presiding Member.

Mr Asante said the Assembly would augment the PPE provided to the school saying additional masks and handwashing sets would be distributed during the first week of reopening.

At Saint Paul’s Methodist School, some students were seen sweeping and weeding the forecourt of the school together with the headteacher while, teachers were drawing their time table.

Mr Sylvester Asiedu, Head-teacher of the school, said about 90 per cent of the 241 final year students reported to school on the first day of reopening adding that eight classrooms would accommodate 30 students each instead of the usual 55 to 61.

Mr Asiedu added that the St Paul’s Methodist Church had already provided the school with two veronica buckets, soaps and tissue indicating that the school had received all the PPE from the government.

The school, he said, also have a sickbay to take care of suspected cases adding that a janitor had been employed to ensure that the washrooms were always in good shape hygienically.

At the Akodzo JHS and Twedaase JHS, students were in their classrooms with GES monitoring team educating them on the need to take the mask-wearing and other protocols seriously as they said they spotted a number of them without the masks.

Mrs Bernice Ofori, Tema Metropolitan Education Director on her part appealed to the TMA to relocate some mobile toilets situated some few metres behind the classrooms for traders in the satellite markets operating on school compounds, to use.

Mrs Ofori added that activities of drug addicts and homeless people on the school compound were a major worry for conducive learning and teaching as they either jumped the walls or broke the padlocks of the gates to the school compounds to indulge in all manner of vandalism and appealed to the Assembly to find a workable solution to the issue.

She added that she together with Mrs. Agatha Adrah, the local SHEP Coordinator, had visited a number of schools and were impressed at the level of compliance.

She indicated that at the Oninku Drive JHS, some of the traders especially, those selling live poultry had spilled over onto the compound adding that she drew the attention of the Assembly and a taskforce was sent there to remove them from the area.

When the GNA got to the Dorson Complex School, 30 out of the expected 33 students were present and classes were ongoing.

Mr Kingsford Ofori, Headmaster of Dorson, confirmed receiving the PPE from government adding that the school had also purchased additional 2 thermometer guns to augment the two received from the government.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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