Government will decide when schools will reopen after the current examinations involving final year students are concluded by mid-September, President Akufo-Addo says.
“I will keep you fully informed about the outcomes,” the President gave the assurance on Sunday night in his 14th COVID-19 updates to the nation.
He said the safety and good health of students and staff had been the paramount considerations in the reopening of schools, as part of the phases of easing of the COVID-19 restriction measures, adding that the state would therefore, continue to insist on full adherence to the enhanced COVID-19 protocols, especially within the schools.
“That is why, as has already been widely publicised, we undertook a massive mobilisation and deployment of logistics to our educational facilities to help ensure that learning is conducted in an atmosphere of safety, as we continue to limit and contain the spread of the virus in our country. ”
He said since his last address to the nation about a month ago, there had been over 75,000 persons, comprising students, teachers and non-teaching staff, in the Junior High Schools returning to school to prepare for and sit the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
Besides, on Monday July 20, the 370,000 final year Senior High School students, who had been in school for five weeks, started writing the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination.
Again, 127,143 students in the Universities and other tertiary institutions have all virtually completed their final examinations.
The President said all the measures being put in place to contain the spread of the virus among the students pointed to the commitment of the Government to protect the lives of “all those involved in the phased re-openings of our schools, and I will not renege on my obligation towards either our children or their parents.
“Mercifully, we have witnessed only a few cases of infections in our Universities and other tertiary institutions; the few students who tested positive in a few of our Senior High Schools have all either recovered or are on the path to full recovery, and will write the WASSCE; and the few final year Junior High School students, who have tested positive and who are largely asymptomatic, are being managed in isolation centres, “he said.
President Akufo-Addo reminded Ghanaians that while the pandemic lingered on, life could not be put on hold indefinitely, and Ghana could also not remain in a never-ending crisis management situation “and that is why we have been putting measures in place to restore gradually some normalcy in our social and economic lives, as we learn to cope with the reality of the virus”.
He said the gradual reopening of the schools to enable final year students at various levels of education finish the school year and take their exams was probably the most significant measure taken by the government on the easing of the COVID-19 related restrictions.