President Akufo-Addo Announces Resumption Of School After 9 Months Of Closure

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Sunday announced the return of pupils and students to school, nine months after schools closed to curb coronavirus pandemic last March.

In a televised national address to give an update on measures being adopted by government to curb the spread of COVID-19, President Akufo-Addo said the decision to open schools was the result of extensive and detailed consultations with all role-players in the health and educational sectors.

He said the lessons drawn from the reopening of some sections of educational institutions in the course of last year, the fact that Ghana’s active coronavirus cases had reduced significantly, and with no record of the new variant of the disease, puts the country in a much better position to reopen 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,” he stated.

Prior to the return of students to school, President Akufo-Addo said the Government, through the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, would ensure that all institutions, public and private, are fumigated and disinfected.

He said schools and institutions, with their own hospitals and clinics, would be equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment, and have isolation centres to deal with any positive cases.

“All other school and institutions, without their own 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,” he stressed.

The President stated that requisite provisions had been made to ensure that students at all levels of the education ladder received the minimum number of contact hours upon their return to school.

He disclosed that as was done in the limited opening of some schools last year, the Education ministry would provide face masks, Veronica buckets, hand sanitisers, liquid soap, rolls of tissue paper, and thermometer guns.

President Akufo-Addo also announced an end to the double-track education system for first and third-year Senior High School students.

The president attributed the development to improved infrastructure across the country.

He however said the double-track system will still be applicable to SHS 2 students in schools that are employing it.

 “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 years, has brought us to this favourable situation,” he stated.

The double-track system was introduced by the government in order to enable various senior high schools to take in more students and ensure that all students have access to senior high school education.

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