Learners in schools and universities in Ghana will finally return to the classroom later this month after spending close to 11 months at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delivering his 21st COVID-19 update Sunday night President Akufo-Addo announced a ‘phased’ reopening of schools starting January 9 in public universities.
He said: “The lessons drawn from the reopening of some sections of our educational institutions, in last year, have put us in a much better position to oversee successfully the full reopening of our schools. Our children must go to school, albeit safely, and we are satisfied that, in the current circumstances, the re-opening of our schools is safe.”
“So, from 15th January, our children in kindergarten, primary and Junior High, in both private and public schools, will be back in school. All SHS 1 students will start classes from 10th March, with all students embarking on a single-track academic calendar”, President Akufo-Addo added.
SHSs 1 and 3 will no longer run double track
The President, however, announced that students in SHSs 1 and 3 will no longer run double-track, a system where students go to school in batches when the government rolled out the Free SHS programme.
The decision, the President explained is as a result of the government’s massive infrastructural drive carried out in most schools across the country.
“SHS 2 and SHS 3 will, however, return to school from 18 January. I must stress that SHS 3 students in all schools, like SHS 1 students, will no longer run the double-track system. The expansion of infrastructure at the various senior high schools, over the last three (3) years, has brought us to this favourable situation.”
“However, the double-track system will still apply to SHS 2 students in schools that are employing it. Students in universities and other tertiary institutions are to be in school from Saturday, 9th January.”
The government said it will ensure all schools in the public and private sector are fumigated before the resumption of academic work.
“Before their return to school, Government, through the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, will ensure that all institutions, public and private, are fumigated and disinfected. Schools and institutions, with their hospitals and clinics, will be equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment, and have isolation centres to deal with any positive cases.”
The President is also assuring schools without clinics and hospitals have been mapped to health facilities.
He said: “All other school and institutions, without their clinics and hospitals, have been mapped to health facilities. There will be, for now, no mass gatherings and no sporting activities. However, religious activities for students at school, under the new protocols, will be permitted.
“Social distancing and the wearing of face masks must become the norm in our schools. The requisite provisions have been made to ensure that students at all levels of the education ladder receive the minimum number of contact hours upon their return to school.”
Source: Daily Mail GH