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19.01.2021 Opinion

Govt’s delay in the distribution of PPES unacceptable; Pupils must be given critical attention

By Ekow Paintsil Djan
Govt’s delay in the distribution of PPES unacceptable; Pupils must be given critical attention
LISTEN JAN 19, 2021

On Monday, January 18, 2020, I took pain to visit some Basic schools in the Central Region. Regrettably, most schools lacked enough desks in their classrooms. Truth is; once there are inadequate desks, there’s a clear impossibility of practicing social/physical distancing in the classrooms.

Pupils sat in twos, threes and fours and on dual desks. This clearly breaches the Coronavirus safety protocols. Imagine pupils sitting in twos/threes/fours in class size of between thirty (30) and seventy (70). It is ridiculous!

Again, most teachers and pupils were not in nose masks. Upon further interrogation, I got to understand that, government is yet to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs); there were no Veronica buckets, sanitizers, liquid soaps, tissue papers etc.

These are materials that are to be provided by the government but unfortunately, some schools are yet to receive them. This is highly unacceptable and must be brought to the attention of relevant stakeholders to, as a matter of urgency, ensure that they are immediately provided to our schools.

Government must be up and doing. We’re obviously not in normal times, as such, we should not entertain the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ministry of Education’s normal ways of handling affairs in our schools i.e not paying critical attention to situations like this, Parents and Teachers Association not showing up to assist government in times like this.

Our pupils and teachers are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus now. Let’s do everything humanly possible to ensure that our schools are safe for teaching and learning. If we can not ensure a safe environment, then I recommend we close down schools, go back, prepare and come back later.

On the positive side, I was happy to see some schools busily cleaning up their compound and classrooms. This was a step I deeply appreciated and urged that it would be continued, possibly, every week. As some were scrubbing their classrooms, others were cleaning their desks, urinal and toilets. This must be encouraged much often.

I would urge government to provide PPEs and desks as soon as possible. Only these can ensure strict adherence of the COVID-19 protocols.

Let’s make Ghana Education better!!

Ekow Djan

Educationist/ Political Commentator

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