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Just In: No visitation, religious activities allowed in schools – Education Minister

The Ministry of Education has directed that no form of religious activity must be countenanced in schools as they reopen for final year students amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sector Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who announced this at a press briefing on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, also indicated that visitors will not be allowed entry access to their wards at the boarding schools.

These measures he says are aimed at reducing the rate of possible Coronavirus infections and fast track contact tracing processes as final years return to schools to prepare for their exit examinations.

“When schools reopen, they will not be available for religious activities. It is simple, we do not want too many interactions so that [should the unexpected happen], we can trace who might have come to the school with virus. So we want to keep it that only students and their lecturers are in school. When the junior and senior schools reopen, there will be no visitors allowed during the period that they are in school. Parents can no longer go and visit their kids for that period”, the Minister noted.

Additionally, there shall be no assemblies or any other mass gatherings.

Final year SHS students will have six weeks of academic work, after which they will write the special ‘Ghana exams‘ by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for five weeks.

“They will be there for academic work and revision for six weeks and the Ghana exams by the West Africa Examination Council, we understand will take five weeks,” Dr. Opoku-Prempeh said.

On the other hand, the session for students in the Junior High Schools (JHS) preparing for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) has been scheduled for 11 weeks for teaching and learning with one week for the final exams.

Meanwhile, foreign tertiary students who are outside the country and are identified will be allowed to return granted their country will allow them to exit.

“All students will be provided with facemask and hand sanitizers,” the Minister added.

Other measures for JHS 

  • All classes are to be split with not more than 30 students in a class.
  • As a reduced school day, classes will be organized from 9 am to 1 pm each day.
  • There will be no breaks outside the classroom.
  • Schools will have enhanced daily health protocols.
  • Schools will be unavailable for religious activities.
  • No sports or sporting events are allowed.

Guidelines for SHS 

  • All classes are to be split with not more than 25 students in a class.
  • All day students in boarding schools will now be accommodated into the boarding house
  • Day schools will have enhanced daily health protocols.
  • Dining will be in batches in boarding schools.
  • No visitors will be allowed.
  • Schools will be unavailable for religious activities.
  • No sports and sporting events are allowed.

Resumption of schools 

Three days after Ghana recorded its first two cases of Coronavirus, President Akufo-Addo on March 15, 2020, directed the closure of schools at all levels to curb the spread of the virus. The long closure became a top matter of discussion leaving many groups divided over the next steps that must be taken.

But after almost 10 weeks of closure, final year Senior High Schools (SHS) students are now to return to school on Monday, June 22, 2020, whereas their counterparts in Junior High Schools (JHS) go back to school on Monday, June 29, 2020.

Final year university students are expected to resume school on Monday, June 15, 2020.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 10th televised address last Sunday, announced the reopening of schools for final year students only to prepare and enable them to take their exit examinations.

JHS 3 classes will comprise a maximum of 30 students, SHS classes a maximum of 25 students and University lectures will take place with half the class sizes.

However, teaching and learning activities for all other levels remain closed.

Source: citinewsroom