From January 15, 2021, children in Kindergarten, primary and Junior High Schools, in both private and public schools, will go back to the classroom wearing face masks after almost ten months of staying at home due to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
This announcement was made by the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Sunday evening, January 3, 2021, in his 21st update to the nation on measures taken against the spread of the coronavirus.
The President, while addressing the nation declared that the re-opening of schools, both public and private, is safe, thereby, paving the way for all students to return to the classroom.
“The lessons drawn from the reopening of some sections of our educational institutions, in the course of 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”, he noted.
He said prior to the 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.
That notwithstanding, schools and institutions, with their own hospitals and clinics, will be equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment, and have isolation centers to deal with any positive cases of the coronavirus.
President Akufo-Addo further noted that all other schools and institutions, without their own clinics and hospitals, have been mapped to health facilities, cautioning that that “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”, he added.
To facilitate the safety of the students, President Akufo-Addo assured that Government, through the Ministry of Education, will provide face masks, ‘Veronica’ buckets, hand sanitizers, liquid soap, rolls of tissue paper, and thermometer guns for the safe re-opening of the schools.