The Conference of Directors of Pre-tertiary Schools has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to expedite action on the deployment of personal protective equipment in schools to ensure the safety of students and staff.
It said if that was not done now and there was any problem in the public schools, it could affect the operations of private institutions in the event of the closure of schools.
The President of the Conference of Directors of Private Pre-tertiary Schools, Mr Philip Boateng Mensah, said that in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
“We wish to encourage the GES to come out with hotlines at the district level for schools that have still not received theirs to call up and be attended to.
“Furthermore, public school teachers are encouraged to support government’s effort in dealing with COVID-19 spread by enforcing the wearing of face mask in schools. It is a collective responsibility of every Ghanaian to ensure that the situation does not get out of hand to plunge the country into a total lockdown,” he said.
Mr Mensah called on the Ghana Education Service to empower school health coordinators at the district levels with resources to conduct regular monitoring visits to the schools as a backup measure to enforce the protocols.
“We wish to commend His Excellency the President for his leadership in dealing with the COVID–19 spread. Following His Excellency’s update on COVID-19 on January 31, 2021, we urge all private school operators to ensure full implementation of the safety protocols as recommended by experts for implementation in schools,” he said.
Mr Mensah said directors of pre-tertiary schools who did not have the full complement of the safety protocols instituted in their respective schools “are strongly advised to allocate some resources to ensure full implementation and most importantly, enforce strict adherence to the protocols in the school environment. We must ensure that every person in the school, including the children, are made to police the other on the proper wearing of the nose mask”.
“A simple message as Mask Your Nose and Mouth can be on every person's lip in the school environment to prompt one another on the proper use of the mask. We must ensure that appropriate handwashing with soap and the use of sanitiser become part of the daily routine within the school community,” he said.
Mr Mensah said it was important for those of us in the private education sector to respect and religiously follow the protocols so as not to be plunged into the bitter experience encountered during the school closure for almost a year.
Situations at the market places and on the streets in the country, he said, left much to be desired in the COVID–19 prevention efforts as people were seen at such places with face masks on the chin, under the nose or not wearing at all.
“Just a hand full are seen wearing the mask appropriately. In view of the surge in the recorded cases, especially in the crowded areas, if any gain is going to be made in the preventive effort, it is imperative to ensure that strict enforcement of the protocols are instituted. In the light of these, we wish to appeal to His Excellency, the President, to deploy the military to support the police in the market places, on the streets and spot checks in public transports across the country to ensure that every Ghanaian is made to adhere to the protocols,” he said.
According to Mr Mensah, private schools were severely affected during the school closure and could not afford another closure hence the conference’s determination to support government in every aspect of prevention effort to reverse the upward trends of the COVID-19 infection.