Some basic schools still face coronavirus protocol challenges

Wed, 20 Jan 2021 Source: Ghanaian Times

The adherence to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety protocol was a challenge at some basic schools when pupils resumed studies on Monday.

Some pupils were not in nose masks and some schools could not ensure social distancing in their classrooms due to limited space and furniture.

There were complaints of delays in the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), although these schools had been fumigated.

The re-opening of schools after about 10 months of closure as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus followed a directive by the government last week.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who gave the green light tasked all school authorities to enforce the necessary safety protocols.

Jemima Esinam Kuatsinu reports that to decongest pupils and teachers in Tesano, Apenkwa and Fadama cluster of schools in the Okaikwei North Municipal Assembly, more than 2,000 pupils were relocated to each of the Millennium school buildings on their respective compounds.

Although the buildings were yet to have some secondary features fixed, the relocation was a relief for the pupils and teachers who had endured overcrowding among other inconveniences since 2017, due to delays in the official handing over of the facilities.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the Millennium School at the Tesano Cluster of schools, it observed that there were no blackboards fitted in some of the classrooms and some doors were now being fixed.

Also, rails meant to prevent the pupils from falling from the two-storey building were yet to be fixed thereby exposing them to danger.

‘Veronica buckets’ were positioned at the entrance of the schools for hand washing, but not all pupils were spotted in nose masks while social distancing was not being adhered to in some of the classrooms.

The Director of Education at the Municipal Education Directorate, Mrs Cynthia Aboni said the schools were ready for academic work despite the challenges encountered in some of the schools in the municipality.

On the danger at the Tesano Cluster of schools, she advised the school authorities to use only the ground floor as workers race to complete work on two upper floors.

Philomina Oppong and Ophelia Twum report from the Christ the King International School that the authorities had mounted five Veronica buckets at the entrance of the school for the washing of hands, and placed sanitisers at vantage points.

The Headmistress, Mrs Veronica Laryea, told the reporters that arrangements were being made to provide each class with a thermometer to help check the temperature of every student each morning.

“At the moment, we have limited thermometers that are being used in checking the temperature of the students and this is a challenge because there are long queues at the entrance,” she stated.

Mrs Laryea said the school was running a one-week-in, one-week-out shift system for primary pupils and full semester for Junior High School (JHS) since the school had enough space to accommodate the JHS pupils.

“The school has decided to have a four-hour class for kindergarten and the students from Primary One through to JHS Three will close at two o’clock in the afternoon. This will enable us to catch up with lessons from the previous terms,” she pointed out.

Mrs Laryea said there has been a provision of an isolation centre for students whose temperature was abnormal and also provide first aid to students in case of any emergency.

Geoffrey Buta reports that many pupils in Jeninso, Mpatua, Teterem, Menyia and Ahrewera in Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region did not adhere to the COVID-19 safety measures.

Some parents who spoke to the Ghanaian Times said they did not have enough money to buy face mask for their children while others were of the view that the virus was non-existent in the community hence no cause for alarm.

Mrs Ama Konadu, a parent, said despite the fact that they were afraid of the virus, the children also needed to get back to school to study.

“Because the children have stayed home for long, they are gradually losing interest in education, which was likely to affect them in the future,” she added.

Mr Kwame Frimpong, executive member of the Parent-Teacher Association of Jeninso Akataniase Roman Catholic Primary and Junior High school said, the school would adhere to all precautionary measures in order for the children to stay safe whilst learning.

He also urged parents to provide reusable face masks for their children and urged the government to provide sanitisers and hand washing basins for the children to wash their hands regularly.

Source: Ghanaian Times
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