As part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, all schools in the Upper East Region have complied with the directives of the president and closed down.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday, March 15, 2020, issued an Executive Instrument banning all public gatherings including; closure of schools both public and private with immediate effect.
As a result, all schools in the region have complied with the order, exempting the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) candidates.
When the Ghana News Agency visited some second cycle and basic schools in the region to get first-hand information about the situation, it was observed that all students and pupils except the examination candidates had vacated.
All classrooms in the schools visited were locked up with the exception of few classrooms reserved for the SHS three students and JHS three pupils to prepare for their impending final examinations.
Most of the pupils who spoke to GNA indicated that their teachers had asked them to go home due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, after they were advised to practise personal hygiene to keep themselves safe.
They indicated that though they would have liked to stay in school and learn, it was a good move to prevent them from being infected with the deadly virus.
Management of the various schools who spoke to GNA indicated that they had complied with the President’s directive and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities were provided to ensure that pupils and students practised frequent handwashing.
Madam Esther Lariba Atiah, the Vice Principal, Administration, Bolgatanga Technical Institute, indicated that the students were sensitised on the precautionary measures they needed to observe to prevent the spread of the virus.
She explained that the final year students who had remained in the school to prepare for their final examination, were redistributed across the empty dormitories and classrooms to create enough space to avoid contact.
Mr Ebenezer Zoogah, the Assistant Headteacher, Sacred Junior High School in the Bolgatanga Municipality, told GNA that the directive created panic among the pupils and the final year students wanted to also go home for fear that they would be infected with the virus.
He said the management of the school explained to the pupils to understand how they could protect themselves from being infected with virus and why it was necessary for them to remain in school to prepare adequately for their examination.
When the GNA visited schools such as the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High School, Bolgatanga Senior High, Zamse Senior High/Technical, and other basic schools across the region, the Kindergarten and primary schools were completely closed down.