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Senior High Schools reopen partially today

Senior High Schools are reopening for final year students and second-year Gold Track students from today.

Some 800,000 students, teachers and non-teaching staff are expected at various school premises nationwide.

Schools had been closed since March 15, 2020, as part of the government’s measures to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The final year SHS students will be in school for six weeks before sitting for the West Africa Senior School Certification Examination (WASSCE).

The WASSCE in Ghana will take place from August 3, 2020, after six weeks of studies.

Only a maximum of 25 students will be permitted in each class.

There will be no mass gatherings and no sporting activities but religious activities will be permitted in line with existing protocols.

Day students in schools with boarding houses will become resident for the period. Day students in schools without boarding facilities will commute from home.

Dining hall ensure required social distancing whilst no visitors to the schools will be allowed.

There will also be no mass gatherings or sporting activities.

One-thousand one-hundred and sixty-seven Senior High Schools in the country have been fumigated and disinfected.

Eighteen thousand Veronica Buckets, 800,000 pieces of 200-millilitre sanitisers, 36,000 rolls of tissue paper, 36,000 gallons of liquid soap and 7,200 thermometer guns have been distributed to schools, according to President Akufo-Addo, who spoke on Sunday evening.

In addition, each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator will be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks.

Two of these will be provided when the schools resume and third “within a fortnight,” the President said.

The government did not facilitate in mass testing of students, teachers and non-teaching staff despite some calls from stakeholders and critics.

The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), for example, proposed mass coronavirus testing of students, teaching and non-teaching staff before schools reopen.

Four Teacher unions; the Ghana National Association of Teachers, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Tertiary Education Workers’ Union and Coalition of Concerned Teachers also registered their opposition to reopening schools.

President Akufo-Addo assured all parents and guardians that the government was committed to protecting the lives of the 800,000 students, teachers and non-teaching staff, who will be returning to school.

“I will be the last person to put the lives of the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’ at risk,” he stressed.

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