President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Sunday, announced that finalists of educational institutions will return to school as scheduled to prepare for their exit examinations, saying the Covid-19 pandemic should not be allowed to undermine the survival and future of the nation.
“Education, indeed, is the key to the future of our country. The quality of education that our educational institutions produce, ultimately, will determine the success or otherwise of our nation.
“We, therefore, have to find a way of guaranteeing the prospects of the generation of young people who are the objects of education today, and who represents our future,” the President emphasised.
Consequently, finalists of tertiary institutions will resume on Monday, June 15, followed by those in Senior High School, with the second year students under the Gold Track, on June 22, while Basic School finalists will go on June 29.
The President was updating citizens on measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, in his 11th national broadcast on Sunday.
Responding to criticisms that the reopening of schools would endanger the lives of teachers and students as had happened elsewhere, the President stated that the Government would not let the COVID-19 pandemic undermine the country’s survival, progress and future generation.
The President explained that there was no ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ to the resolution of the pandemic, therefore, Ghana had to chart its unique course, while learning from best practices.
However, he emphasised that saving the lives, jobs and livelihoods of citizens had been at the centre of the Government’s interventions.
“We can’t say that because of the pandemic, we are no longer interested in issues of social justice, such as education and health,” the President explained.
The Government would, therefore, do everything possible to protect and preserve the potential of the future generation.
He, thus, entreated teachers and non-teaching staff as well as the finalists, who would be in school for six weeks, to be more disciplined, than ever before, and observe the social distancing directives, wear face masks and comply with other safety and hygiene protocols, to curb the spread of the respiratory disease.
Government started airlifting quantities of Personal Protective Equipment, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, Veronica Buckets, packets of soap and tissue rolls to 234 tertiary educational institutions in the 16 regions, ahead of re-opening on Monday, June 15.
The items include 600,000 units of reusable face masks, 200,000 millilitres of hand sanitizers, 1,700 Veronica Buckets, 34,000 tissue papers and 34,000 packets of soap, as well as 900 thermometer guns.
About 200,000 staff and students are supposed to benefit from the logistics, comprising 44,000 teaching and non-teaching staff and 128,000 students.
Each person is supposed to receive three sets of reusable face masks, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and tissue papers to help prevent the spread of the virus.
Personnel of the Ghana Airforce airlifted the items to the regional capitals on Saturday, June 13.
The Government, through the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, has disinfected both public and private tertiary educational institutions.
Universities with their own hospitals and clinics have been equipped with the necessary PPE, and have isolation centres to deal with any positive cases.
All other institutions without their own clinics and hospitals have been mapped to health facilities.
The distribution of the logistics is being undertaken by a special taskforce of the Government, under the supervision of the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo.
The regional breakdown of the tertiary educational institutions are as follows: Greater Accra-57; Ashanti-31; Eastern-22; Northern-14; and Central-18.
The rest are; Volta-17; Western-11; Upper East-11; Upper West-11; Bono-14; Ahafo- nine; Bono East- six; Western North-57; Oti- three; Savannah- four and North East-one.