The Ghana Education Service (GES) has assured parents and guardians of final-year senior high school (SHS) students in the country that it will do everything humanly possible to protect their children against COVID-19.
The Greater Accra Regional Director of the GES, Mrs Monica Ankrah, gave the assurance on the sideline of a mass disinfection exercise in the Accra Girls’ Senior High School, in the national capital, Accra.
She added that the school authorities had also been charged with the task of ensuring that the students together with the teaching and non-teaching staff members observe strictly the COVID-19 safety protocols.
The exercise, which was a collaboration between the ministry of education (MoE), and Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZGL), came off yesterday, and it lasted for about five hours.
According to the Greater Accra Regional GES Director, the lives of the students were a priority to her outfit, encouraging parents to have confidence in the GES and school authorities to,”take very good care of their children.”
She also assured the teaching and non-teaching staff members that the GES will continue to implement measures that will protect them from the virus.
While empathising with parents gripped with panic and fear, following reported cases of COVID-19 in some of the SHSs, she indicated that the best option was for the infected students to be isolated and treated.
“In the wake of reported COVID-19 cases in some of the schools, the best thing to do which we [at GES] are doing is isolatiing and treating those infected by the virus, instead of sending them home where there is the high risk of them exposing their families and others to the virus,” she said.
“Isolation centres have been provided in the schools to facilitate treatment of students who would contract COVID-19,” she averred.
In this regard, Mrs Ankrah disclosed that many of the students who contracted the virus had recovered and had been discharged to their various schools.
The exercise – which lasted for about five hours- was necessitated by over fifty confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Accra Girls’ SHS, and was done yesterday (Friday, June 16).
She reiterated that the GES will continue to extend support to the SHSs in the form of providing them with nose masks, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, liquid soaps among others.
Mrs Ankrah seized the opportunity to appeal to political parties to refrain from politicising the COVID-19 in the schools. “…rather we should all be seen supporting to fight this epidemic in the country, cautioning that “we [GES] won’t allow politics on the various campuses of the SHSs,” she stated.
So far, only seven SHSs in the region have recorded cases of COVID-19, but many of the infected students have recovered, she revealed.
The Head of Vector Control Unit, ZGL, Reverend Ebenezer Kwame Addae, explained that the reason for the disinfection was to make the school’s environment and its facilities safe for the students and the staff members.
He opined that regular disinfection together with the strict practising of the COVID-19 preventive protocols was key in battling the virus.
He, therefore, advised corporate Ghana to engage in regular disinfection against the virus.
“In addition to sanitizing the entire school, we also disinfected the school’s high risk areas including door handles, doors, dormitories, classrooms and others,” he said.
Later, Reverend Addae on behalf of ZGL presented some gallons of disinfectants, microbial soaps and alcohol-based hand sanitizers to the GES to be given to the school.
In addition, he announced that his outfit will attach at least two ZGL workers whose job would be to do regular disinfection and cleaning of especially high risk spaces of the schools.
This gesture, he went on to add, would be replicated in all the SHSs across the country. Mrs Ankrah, who received the donation, commended ZGL, and encouraged other institutions to support the central government in the fight against COVID-19.
Facilities disinfected at the Accra Girls’ SHS included dormitories, sick bay, classrooms, administration block, dining hall, playing field, offices, among others. Classes were in session while the exercise was ongoing.