The Daily Statesman’s visit to some schools in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, yesterday showed that various basic schools and Senior High Schools (SHSs) recorded high turnout of students on the first day of re-opening following the easing of restrictions on schools in the country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his 21st address to the nation on measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19, directed that schools should re-open to allow for the commencement of academic work that had stalled in the country for close to a year.
When the Daily Statesman visited schools such as the Effiduase Roman Catholic Basic School, Apimpoa Islamic Basic School, AME Zion Basic School, Frihans Educational Complex and King of Kings Preparatory School, many of the students who had reported at the schools were engaged in minimal general clean-up for the new academic year.
The situation was no different when this paper visited the Ghana Senior High School (Ghanass), New Juaben SHS and Koforidua Secondary Technical.
Many of the students were also seen wearing their face masks, while getting ready for the academic year.
Speaking with this paper, the students expressed their readiness to adhere to all the safety protocols put in place to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Some teachers also assured both parents and the government of their readiness to give out their best to ensure that they, together with the students, comply with the safety protocols to prevent a widespread of the deadly pandemic.
In almost all the schools, veronica buckets, tissues, hand sanitizers and soaps were seen to have been placed at the premises to aid in the strict adherence to the protocols.
Some heads of schools who spoke to the Daily Statesman thanked the government for introducing the online learning platforms during the period the students were staying at home. They noted that the online platform helped equip and make the students busy while at home, adding that the students are therefore already prepared for the new academic year.
In a related development, the Akatsi chapter of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has expressed worry about the non-availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) on the first day of school re-opening in the Akatsi South municipality.
GNAT indicated that the delay in the distribution of the needed PPE to the various basic schools in the municipality could compel them to call for suspension of school activities until things were rightly done.
Mr Prosper Agbeli, the Akatsi branch chairman of the Association, speaking with the media, said, “the situation leading to the delay in distributing the PPE must be resolved quickly by the education directorate or else, we suspend school activities.”
Mr Agbeli also stated that the things he observed during his tour to some schools on Monday clearly indicated that most public schools anticipated the arrival of the PPEs
He said the majority of teachers reported at post on Monday, but pupils’ attendance was not encouraging, adding that some of the pupils from the public schools failed to wear their face masks.