President Nana Akufo-Addo says parents have no cause to worry as his government will not take a decision that will put the lives of their wards in senior high schools (SHS) at risk.

He assured parents of his commitment to protect the SHS finalists who resume on Monday, June 22, to complete their school work.

“I take this opportunity to assure all parents and guardians that Government is determined to protect the lives of the 800,000 students, teachers and non-teaching staff, who will be returning to school from tomorrow. I will be the last person to put the lives of the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’ at risk.

In his 12th address to the nation on measures government is taking to stem the spread of coronavirus he said the students who are beneficiaries of his free SHS policy have to take their end of school exams thus the decision to open the schools.

“All 1,167 Senior High Schools in the country have been fumigated and disinfected. Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some 800,000, will be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks, i.e. two being provided tomorrow, and the third within a fortnight,” he assured parents.

President Akufo-Addo encouraged parents to provide their wards with at least one face covering on their way to school.

“A total of 18,000 Veronica Buckets, 800,000 pieces of 200ml sanitizers, 36,000 rolls of tissue paper, 36,000 gallons of liquid soap, and 7,200 thermometer guns have been distributed,” he added.

He said the SHS 3 students will be in school for a total of six weeks, before sitting for the WASSCE exams over a period of two weeks.

“SHS 2 Gold Track students, who are returning to complete their first semester like their Green Track colleagues have done, will be in school for six weeks, before going on vacation.

Measures put in place

A maximum of 25 students will be permitted in each class. All day students in schools with boarding houses will be resident in these boarding houses, whilst day students, in schools without boarding facilities, will commute from home, and will be required to adhere to enhanced hygiene protocols; eating in dining halls will be in appropriate numbers; and no visitors to the schools will be allowed.

There will be no mass gatherings and no sporting activities. Religious activities, under the new protocols, will be permitted. Social distancing and the wearing of face masks are obligatory in all schools.

One dormitory block in each senior high school is to be used as an isolation centre, in the event of a student falling sick.

Again, each SHS has been mapped to a health facility, and care will be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to these schools.

Through the National Food and Buffer Stock Company, enough food supplies have been distributed to all schools.

Government is also making available 350 buses and 840 pickup vehicles to senior high schools that did not receive vehicles in 2016.