The Ghana Education Service (GES) has assured parents and guardians that it will ensure the safety of all school environments ahead of reopening in January 2021.
Mr Victor Amponsah, an Official of the Special Education Division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Headquarters in Accra, gave the assurance during a two-day training workshop for the regional advocacy taskforce on the “Back-To-School” Campaign in Wa.
He said apart from disinfecting all schools before the reopening date in January, students would also be provided with nose masks and hand sanitizers as well as have their temperatures checked at morning, afternoon and evening to ensure their safety whilst in school.
He said just as all schools would be impressed upon to create isolation centers, there would equally be a rapid response team in place by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to quickly deal with cases of students experiencing abnormal temperatures.
Mr Amponsah explained that the “Back-To-School” Campaign was therefore initiated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects on girls and education in the country.
He said students stayed home for long as a result of the outbreak of the virus and that was why the Director General of Education found it necessary to embark on the campaign to inform parents and all other stakeholders of the safety of the school environment and the need for them to also play their roles effectively to complement their efforts.
“During the Basic Education Certificate examination (BECE), we realized that some of the girls were not in school and those that were in school, some were pregnant”, he said and noted that it was the reason why they saw the need to include re-entry into the programme.
Mr Amponsah said the focus of the programme was therefore in four folds including education on COVID-19 and its protocols, safety of schools, pregnancy and re-entry, and the psychosocial effect of COVID-19 on students whose parents contracted the virus.
He said GES and its partner UNICEF therefore decided to embark on regional level training for stakeholders who would then replicate the training at the community level in order to allay the fears of parents and guardians and assure them that the school environment was safe for their children to return.
He said adequate measures have also been put in place to prevent stigmatization against students whose parents have contracted the disease.