Partial Re-Opening Of Schools: Minister Out With ‘Tough’ Measures

-To Ensure Safety Of Students, Teaching And Non-Teaching Staff

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Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh

The Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, yesterday announced stringent measures for schools, as restrictions are relaxed for final-year students at all levels of the education ladder, in the midst of the COVID-19.

Government has relaxed restrictions placed on schools to ensure that final-year students complete their academic programmes.

University final-year students are expected to report to their various campuses on June 15, 2020, while those of the Senior High Schools (SHS) are to report on June 22, 2020.

Final-year Junior High School (JHS) students are to report at school on June 29, 2020 to prepare for their final examination.

Dr. Prempeh, at press briefing on education update, yesterday, disclosed that there would be vigorous disinfection of all educational institutions, both public and private, before schools re-open.

He said: ‘’There will be provision of wash facilities for all schools. Washable and reusable facemasks will be offered for all students and staff.’’

According to the minister, all schools in the country would be mapped to health facilities and that all classes would be split.

‘’There will be no mass gathering, no sports and sporting events in all schools,’’ he said.

As part of the stringent measures to ensure the safety of students, schools will not be available for religious activities.

Some churches in Ghana operate from classrooms because of their inability to build their own chapels.

Dr. Prempeh said that visitors will not be allowed into boarding schools.

He said: ‘’All non-Ministry of Education educational institutions are expected to re-open on Monday, June 15, 2020.’’

For the universities, foreign students who are currently outside the country and are identified will be allowed to return, granted their countries will allow them exit.

‘’The foreign students who will be able to enter the country will be quarantined for two weeks,’’ he said.

For final-year SHS 3 students and SHS 2 Gold track students, the minister said that they will spend six weeks for academic work and five weeks for WASSCE.

‘’Classes will be split – no more than 25 students in a class, all day students in boarding schools will be in boarding, day schools will have enhanced daily health protocols, dining will be in batches in boarding schools,’’ he said.

Dr. Prempeh revealed that JHS final-year students will be in school for 11 weeks, with additional one week for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and that class will be split no more than 30 students in a class.

‘’Classes will be from 9AM to 1PM each day, no breaks outside the classroom and schools will have enhanced daily health protocols,’’ he said.

Dr. Prempeh gave the assurance that the Ministry of Education will go all out to ensure the safety of students, as well as teaching and non-teaching staff.

‘’The students, teaching and non-teaching staff are very dear to the ministry and government and everything will be done to protect them,’’ he assured.