The mood in some Junior High Schools on the first day of reopening after about three months of coronavirus break was generally calm and serene, which is vastly different from a normal reopening day.
In President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s 13th address to the nation on government’s policies to contain the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, he reiterated plans put forth to restore educational activities in phases.
Announcing that the third batch of final year students – BECE candidates – are to return to school Monday, June 29, 2020, he noted that teaching, learning and other school activities are to be conducted with strict adherence to social distancing protocols.
In light of this development, GhanaWeb took a tour to some Junior High Schools in the Greater Accra Region to report the changes and how students and teachers are coping with the new normal.
GhanaWeb made the first stop at Dzorwulu Junior High School, where students were being oriented about the safety protocols and the need to adhere to instructions in this period.
The number of students per class was not more than 30 and the general atmosphere in classrooms; calm and collected. Speaking in an exclusive interaction with GhanaWeb, the headmistress of the school, Irene-Yankson Nii Quaye confirmed receipt of the personal protective equipment (PPE) from government which they had already distributed to students.
Mrs Nii Quaye intimated they had already completed preparations, adding that the turnout of students was impressive.
She said, “We’re overwhelmed by the numbers that we have received today. We have received about 90 per cent of the enrolment and all the children are really prepared because they know that had it not been this COVID they might have completed school…I have more than 100 reported today. We held a PTA meeting and sensitized the parents about the safety of their kids…”
With regards to the hospital being allocated to the school, in case of an emergency, Mrs Nii Quaye said: “We have been linked to Mamobi Polyclinic and they have given us nurses on the COVID team…even this morning I called somebody and interacted with them…”
The second school GhanaWeb visited was the Bethany Methodist Basic School.
Similarly, all protocols were being observed in the school at the time of the report. Students were undergoing coronavirus orientation, led by the Headmistress, Mrs Doris Impare Gyekye.
In an interaction with GhanaWeb, she disclosed that only 33 students are to sit for the BECE, but on the first day of reopening, 27 reported which according to her was “encouraging.”
“Government has given us a lot of things; the mask has been given out and they were given two each but when they were coming, they were in their own masks. We’re sensitizing them about the disease and how serious it is…so this is what I’m doing with them this morning.”
She said the school has been attached to the Prisons Hospital. However, no student has reported or been identified with abnormal symptoms.
Finally, the team made a stop at the Achimota Basic School.
Students’ turnout on the first day was quite commendable as about 170 students had reported out of a total of 286.
The headmistress of the school, Mrs Edith Kyeremanteng told GhanaWeb that the school has concluded its preparations to receive the full enrolment, as government has fulfilled its part of the bargain by providing PPEs as promised.
She said authorities had distributed the safety equipment to students; two each, and they had already begun their orientation on keeping safe.
An interesting initiative the school had taken to ensure social distancing amongst student was that each classroom had the names of students, not more than 25, legibly printed out and posted on the front door.