Parents in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis have called on the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure that proper safety measures are put in place before the reopening of the schools.
This, according to them, should include the provision of ‘Veronica Buckets’ and hand washing stations created in every classroom, the availability of running water in the schools at all times, provision of thermometer guns in all schools and ensuring that toilet facilities in the schools are disinfected regularly when schools are in session.
It would be recalled that President Nana Akufo-Addo in March last year, ordered the closure of all schools and Universities and the suspension of all public gatherings as a means to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They also commended President Akufo-Addo for giving ear to the initial recommendations made by stakeholders to let the final year learners go back to school and the Gold Track students who missed on their learning but had the opportunity to go and complete that phase of their academic calendar.
The parents, who spoke to the GNA in an interview, also expressed their readiness to support the efforts of the government and the school authorities to provide a conducive teaching and learning environment for the final year students who are restless, especially in these challenging times.
Mr Joseph Abaidoo, an educationist, noted that over the years the schools have suffered from various challenges in utilities, food and staff, and called on the government to put adequate measures in place to cater for the needs of the students in school especially, students with special educational needs.
He said the situation called for stakeholder participation and strict monitoring and adherence to the safety measures outlined by the Ministry of Education for effective session and urged the GES to recruit more personnel for the School Health Education Programme (SHEP) to ensure the consistent monitoring of cases in the schools.
Madam Rose Manukere, a parent and a professional teacher also called on parents to support the schools with PPE and other logistics to help fight COVID-19 in the schools while ensuring strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols for the safety of children at home.
President Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation on 3rd January, 2021, to provide an update on COVID-19 pandemic, announced the reopening for all public and private basic schools, Junior High, Senior High and tertiary institutions across the country.
Reopening for children in kindergarten, primary and junior high, in both private and public schools, will be back in school, while all SHS one students will start classes from 10th March, with all students embarking on a single-track academic calendar.
SHS two and SHS three will, however, return to school from 18th January.
Meanwhile, SHS three students in all schools will no longer run the double track system due to the expansion of infrastructure at the various senior high schools.