Government has made available 350 buses and 840 pickup vehicles to Senior High Schools (SHSs) that could not receive vehicles in 2016, President Akufo-Addo announced Sunday.
Government had also absorbed GHc 75.4 million WASSCE examination fees of the 313,837 SHS three students, the first batch of beneficiaries of the free SHS, who would sit for this year’s WASSCE examinations.
The President made the announcement on Sunday night in his address to the nation on measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
The country had witnessed over 1 million enrolments, the highest in the nation’s history, because of free SHS policy.
The President announced that from Monday, June 22, the next batch of students, who will be going back to school, was the final year SHSs students and the second year Gold Track students, after fruitful consultations with the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools and the Association of Principals of Technical Institutes, to agree on the modalities for the return of the students.
The President said the final year SHS students would be in school for a total of six weeks, before sitting for the WASSCE exams over a period of two weeks.
The SHS two Gold Track students, who were returning to complete their first semester like their Green Track colleagues had done, would be in school for six weeks, before going on vacation.
Also, all the 1,167 Senior High Schools in the country had been fumigated and disinfected before the start of academic activities.
Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some 800,000, would be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks, that would be provided tomorrow, and the third within a fortnight.
He encouraged parents to provide their wards and children with at least one face covering on their way to school.
A total of 18,000 Veronica Buckets, 800,000 pieces of 200-millilitre sanitizers, 36,000 rolls of tissue paper, 36,000 gallons of liquid soap, and 7,200 thermometer guns had been distributed to the schools.
A maximum of 25 students would be permitted in each class.
All day students in schools with boarding facilities would be resident in these boarding houses, whilst day students, in schools without boarding facilities, would commute from home, and be required to adhere to enhanced hygiene protocols; eating in dining halls would be inappropriate numbers; and no visitors to the schools would be allowed.
President Akufo-Addo said there would be no mass gathering and no sporting activities in the schools, and no religious activities, under the new protocols, while social distancing and the wearing of face masks are obligatory in the schools.
He stated that one dormitory block in each senior high school was to be used as an isolation centre, in the event of a student falling sick.
Each SHS has been mapped to a health facility, and care would be provided to the sick by nurses assigned to these schools, he said.