Upper East Second Cycle Schools yet to receive PPE

Bolgatanga, June 23, GNA – As final year students return to school to prepare for their exit examination in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, second cycle institutions in the Upper East Region are yet to receive their share of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as promised by government.

During President Akufo-Addo’s 10th address to the nation on measures being adopted to ease restrictions with regards to the fight against the spread of the COVID-19, final year students as well as gold track second year students of second cycle institutions were asked to return to school on June 22, 2020 under strict adherence to precautionary and safety protocols.

While imploring management of the schools to ensure that the prescribed safety protocols were followed to curtail the spread of the infectious disease, the President gave the assurance that government would supply every student and staff in the various schools across the country with PPE to protect them from contracting the disease.

However, even though some schools in the southern sector had received their share of the PPE, the heads of the various senior high and technical schools in the Upper East Region say they have not received theirs.

They therefore appealed to the government to supply the schools with the necessary preventive items to safely begin academic in time and promote effective teaching and learning whilst keeping safe.

When the Ghana News Agency visited some of the institutions on the first day of resumption of schools in the region, Monday, the students had started reporting to their various schools by 1600 hours.

Mr Ababu Afelbiek, the Headmaster for the Bolgatanga Senior High School (BIG BOSS) told GNA that the school was expecting over 1,000 students to return and all the necessary preparation had been done.

The Headmaster indicated that the management had procured 20 veronica buckets, soap, hand sanitizers including; four electronic hand sanitizers, infrared gun thermometer among others.

While the hygiene materials would be stationed at the entrance of every block in the school, students’ temperature would be checked daily using the thermometer gun to ascertain their health status before every class starts.

The Headmaster said the classes were reduced to between 25 and 30 and dormitories, which used to house about 30 to 35 students, presently house about 10 to 15, while the dining sitting arrangement also reduced from 12 to six persons per table.
Mr Afelbiek disclosed that the school had also formed a COVID -19 team for effective monitoring and therefore appealed to government to dispatch the items including; the nose masks, hand sanitizers and thermometer guns to be shared to the students and staff.

Mr Joseph Tham, the Senior House Master, Bolgatanga Technical Institute (BOTECH), said the school was running only one track and therefore about 830 final years’ students would be returning to school and some students had already reported with all the necessary directives on safety protocols being implemented.

Mrs Patricia Anaba, the Headmistress, Bolgatanga Girls’ Senior High School (BOGISS), said the number of classes had expanded from the usual 12 and 10 for third year students and second year gold track students to 23 and 22 classes respectively as the number of students per each class has been reduced to between 25 and 30.

She added that the number of students per table at the dinning had also been reduced from 12 to 6 students per table, while only 20 students would be in each dormitory as against the normal 40.

All efforts by GNA to find out from the reasons the schools in the Upper East Region had not received the preventive items as promised, from Mr Augustine Ayirezang, the Regional Director of Ghana Education Service proved futile.