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Govt begins distribution of 22 million PPE to schools

BY: Doreen Andoh
• Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa (inset) addressing the media. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

The government has released more than 22 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitary items for distribution to pupils, students and staff of private and public schools in the country.

The distribution of the PPE forms part of measures to safeguard the health of pupils and teachers and also protect them against contracting COVID-19 in school.

Briefing

The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, said this at the Minister's Briefing — a government platform to provide updates on COVID-19 in Accra yesterday.

The PPE includes 10 million reusable face masks, 9.9 million bottles of hand sanitiser, 140,000 4.5-litre gallons of hand sanitiser, 1.65 million pieces of six-in-one tissue paper, 400,000 4.5-litre gallons of liquid soap and 53,000 Veronica buckets.

The rest are 25,000 electronic sanitiser dispensers, 38,000 infrared thermometers and 300,000 face shields.

He said the PPE was to be used in the first academic term, and that it would be replenished periodically as necessary to ensure maximum protection of pupils, students and staff.

Safety measures

Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said his outfit would continue to monitor the situation in schools, saying: “District directors have been asked to make assessment of school-specific needs in coordination with heads of schools, including decongestion, where necessary.”

“Learning at home via online and Ghana Learning on television and radio will continue,” he added.

He appealed to all to abide by the COVID-19 preventive protocols to ensure the smooth running of schools.

He mentioned other measures to include disinfection of educational facilities, the enforcement of rules on mass gatherings and sporting activities.

Attendance to the dining hall would also be in batches, while schools were forbidden to use their premises for any external activities, he added.

Background

As part of measures to the stop the spread of COVID-19, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on March 15, 2020, announced the closure of all schools and universities until further notice.

The GES, consequently, postponed the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year to January 2021.

The President subsequently ordered the reopening of SHSs and universities for final-year students from Monday, June 15, 2020.

The gradual reopening of schools continued until January this year when all schools were asked to reopen, beginning Monday, January 8, 2021, under strict guidelines issued jointly by the Ghana Health Service and the GES.

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