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COVID-19: GES issues guidelines on school reopening

COVID-19: GES issues guidelines on school reopening
COVID-19: GES issues guidelines on school reopening

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has come out with the guidelines for the reopening of schools.

Dubbed: Guidelines for School Reopening During COVID-19, the guidelines are part of the measures put in place by the government to ensure that all educational institutions are safe for teaching and learning.

With the guidelines, which have been circulated across the country on various social media platforms, the GES seeks to promote the observance of all the protocols of the COVID-19 to make schools safe for learners, staff and educational workers.

“I want to assure all stakeholders, including parents and guardians, of our preparedness to support the provision of good quality education for all our learners, even in these times of the COVID-19.

“Our goal, in these times, is to provide quality education within a healthy and safe environment. At the same time, we will continue to build a more resilient educational system that will ensure continuous learning for our learners, even during emergencies,” the Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, said in the guidelines.

Purpose

The guidelines said Ghana’s determination to beat the virus was guided by science and the evidence available.

“As we prepare to reopen our schools to allow learners to continue with their academic work, it is important that we establish broad guidelines for the safe operation of our schools,” it added.

“These guidelines are to help regional and district directors of education, as well as heads of schools, to operate safely in the country. It is important to note that the broad guidelines outlined in this document are a general guide and must be adapted, where necessary, to meet the peculiar situation of each region, district or school, in accordance with the protocols and directives for the reopening of schools,” it said.

It also sought to provide clear and concrete steps for safe operations through the prevention, early detection and control of the COVID-19 in schools and other educational facilities.

It said if done well, maintaining safe school operations during the reopening period and beyond could promote public health.

Fundamental principles

The goal of the GES, it said, was to ensure that learners, teaching and non-teaching staff were safe in school.

To help stop the spread of the disease, it cautioned learners, teachers and other staff who were sick or felt sick to stay at home and not go to school.

It charged schools to enforce regular hand-washing with soap under running water, use alcohol-based hand sanitiser and regularly disinfect and clean school surfaces such as door handles, tables and chairs.

Moreover, it said schools should enforce the wearing of face masks at all times, promote social distancing during school gatherings (assembly and worship sessions) and dining sessions.

The document said all schools were expected to be disinfected prior to the arrival of learners and staff, and that educational directorates were to ensure that their facilities were disinfected.

Facilities

It said schools would be provided with hand-washing facilities and hand sanitiser, and that school heads were to liaise with district and regional directors for their facilities.

“Learners and staff will be provided with re-usable face masks which must be worn at all times to, in and from school. Learners with hearing impairment and staff will be provided with age-appropriate face shields to be worn at all times and supported by staff for safe-keeping and cleaning,” it said.

Besides, house mothers, caregivers and teachers must regularly inspect the face shields, while gloves would be supplied to caregivers/house mothers/attendants for schools for learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), it said.

Class size

On class size for basic and senior high schools, the document said district directors and heads of schools should use their discretion to address peculiar situations in their districts and schools.

“Lesson periods and breaks shall be as stipulated by the GES and subject to the approved COVID-19 safety protocols.

“Visits to washrooms (that is, toilets and urinals) should be regulated to promote social distancing and safety. Parents are encouraged to provide their children with food (e.g. snacks) when going to school to minimise the movement of learners for food within and outside of the school premises,” it said.

For kindergarten children, it said heads of schools must ensure regular disinfection of furniture and other teaching/learning resources, as well as the regular washing of hands with soap under running water.

Source:Graphiconline

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Education

COVID-19: Avail yourselves for vaccination when vaccines arrive – Agyemang-Manu

First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has commissioned and handed over a newly constructed library at Kumawu for the Sekyere Kumawu District and the Ghana Library Authority in the Ashanti Region.

The facility is to encourage reading among children in the catchment area.

 The library, which will serve the Kumawu Anglican cluster of schools and its environs, was constructed, furnished and resourced by the Rebecca Foundation, with the support of the Ghana Education Service, Ghana Library Authority and Book Aid International.

In a speech read on behalf of the First Lady at the commissioning, she reiterated the importance of reading as one of the surest ways to acquiring quality education because it exposed children to the immense knowledge contained in books and other reading materials.

She said since assuming office in 2017, the NPP administration under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo, had implemented several policies aimed at making education affordable and accessible to all Ghanaian children.

“Government has invested huge resources in implementing policies such as Free SHS, free hot meals, free textbooks, and free uniforms among others, all aimed at ensuring equal access to education, to break the vicious cycle of inequalities”, Mrs Akufo-Addo said.

However, she said the laudable policies stood the risk of bearing little fruit if the foundation of reading, was not strengthened.

The First Lady said, her Rebecca Foundation, therefore, had through its “Learning to Read, Reading to Learn” Initiative, constructed, resourced and commissioned many libraries in places around the country including Wenchi in the Bono Region, Sefwi Debiso in the Western North Region, Moree in the Central Region, Daffiama Bussie Issah in the Upper West Region, Amansaman in the Greater Accra Region and Kumawu in the Ashanti region.

She used the occasion to announce some soon-to-be-completed libraries at Bortianor in the Greater Accra Region and Dambai in the Oti Region, adding that the Rebecca Foundation would, continue to support the government’s effort to make education accessible and attractive to all young people.

Mrs Akufo-Addo also urged parents and other stakeholders to encourage their wards to patronise the reading facilities, emphasising that, literacy was how lifelong learning and a child’s ability to learn to the highest levels remained possible.

She advised the people to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols in all their daily activities, warning that the deadly disease was no respecter of persons and knew no boundaries.

Mr Philip Basoah, Member of Parliament for Kumawu, thanked the First Lady for her support and congratulated her on her immense contribution in empowering the youth through education.Present at the commissioning were Mr Samuel Addai Agyekum, District Chief Executive for Kumawu as well as some officials of the Assembly and Traditional leaders in the area.

Source: GNA

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Education

School at Akosombo records 42 COVID-19 cases

Image result for pic of professor opoku amankwa
Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwah, GES Boss

Forty-two students of a school in Akosombo in the Asuogyman District have contracted COVID-19 according to the Eastern Region Health Directorate.

As of yesterday, Thursday, the students have been isolated while mass testing is expected to take place.

The Eastern Regional Health Director, Dr. Winfred Ofosu told Citi News most of the students were asymptomatic.

“In the school, there was one student that had symptoms and was tested, and they decided to do mass testing, and they found quite a number of students who were asymptomatic and positive.”

He also said he was not aware of the exact school that had been affected.

“When I saw the figures, I tried to find out [the name of the school], but that information hasn’t come to me yet, but I know the school has about 42 cases,” Dr. Winfred Ofosu said.

Before this update, the Ghana Health Service on February 2 said 20 positive cases of COVID-19 had been recorded cumulatively in some schools in the Greater Accra Region.

It also said there was a limited outbreak of the virus in some schools in the Upper West and the Western regions but did not give details.

Schools in the country resumed teaching and learning from January 18 after several months of being closed in 2020 to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Eastern Region Has recorded 2,953 of the 69,255 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Ghana has also recorded 440 deaths from the virus.

There are currently 6,086 active cases following a recent surge in infections.

Source: citinewsroom

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Education

Strictly enforce COVID-19 protocols to assure parents of their ward’s safety – GES urged

Director-General of GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa | Nsemgh
Prof.Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, G.E.S Boss

An Education Consultant, Kofi Asare is urging the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure strict compliance to the COVID-19 protocols in schools.

He said this will help to assure parents that their wards are safe in school amidst the rising case of COVID-19 in the country.

Kofi Asare’s call comes at a time when some parents are calling for the closure of schools one week after reopening due to the surge in cases of COVID-19.

He said if the GES had initiated a shift system and made personal protective kits readily available to schools before they were officially reopened last week, parents would have been assured of the safety of their wards.

He however said the GES can immediately heighten compliance to the COVID-19 safety protocols to avoid outbreaks in schools.

“With a blatant disregard for health and safety protocols and there is overcrowding in schools, I appreciate the concerns that some friends are expressing that schools should close down. Many private schools are doing virtual learning. I think GES must prove parents wrong by sticking to the protocols that the president has established. If the GES had split the classroom into a maximum of 30 and running a shift especially in urban schools, and PPE was available from day 1, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If that is done, I’m sure the concern that parents have will be watered down,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye says only three cases of COVID-19 had been recorded in schools in Ghana since their reopening last week.

At the last briefing of the Ministry of Information, he said two cases were confirmed in the Upper West Region with one case in the Western Region.

Source:citinewroom

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