From a 100% reliable source, I have been made aware of the Kumawu Senior High School (SHS) of a student population of about four thousand, chosen to become a centre for keeping suspected novel coronavirus (Covid-19) patients. The school library and the infirmary blocks will be used to house such persons. This has been the agreement between the School Headmaster, Mr John Asante Bawuah, and the District Chief Executive, Samuel Addai Agyekum (Hon) alias Cobby.
On Tuesday, 31 March 2020, a stakeholders meeting was arranged at the Sekyere Kumawu District Assembly to see to the implementation plan of the school being used to house the Covid-19 patients. The headmaster could not attend the meeting himself since he resides in Kumasi which is currently on lockdown. However, he delegated the Assistant Headmaster of the School, Mr Charles Okyere Agyei, to sit in for him.
Prior to the meeting of 31 March 2020 as stated above, the DCE, Mr Samuel Addai Agyekum, had contacted the headmaster over the phone about his quest to be offered some accommodation facilities to house persons suspected to be carrying the deadly Covid-19 Viruses, as agreed by the District Emergency Response Team (DERT), to choose Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School as the Isolation/Quarantine Centre for the pandemic Covid-19 patients. The headmaster agreed and tasked his assistant to do same if he attended the meeting, sitting in for him (the headmaster).
Some concerned parents and students have although shown disagreement of the arrangement, the headmaster has proved adamant, sticking to his guns.
Some concerned parents are asking the following questions which demand answers from not only the obstinate headmaster but the Ghana Education Service or the government.
1. The nation is using hotels, hospitals and guest houses as Isolation/Quarantine Centres for suspected novel coronavirus patients. No school in Ghana has any of its buildings been used or designated to be used for such purpose. Why only Kumawu Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School?
2. How then do we control the viruses that are left in the selected buildings after the exercise is over?
3. When students resume, won't they get infected with the viruses left over? Could deep cleaning be sufficient to decontaminate the buildings of the viruses?
4. Won't the teachers and other staff members on campus who do not have proper safety personal protective equipment, at the time of bringing in the infected persons also get infected?
5. Should the students, staff members on campus, etc., get infected, what will the headmaster and the government say or do, and especially, if any of the students or staff dies as a result, what will the President of Ghana, the Ghana Education Services directors and the headmaster of the school say?
Let me quote His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during his nation update address on coronavirus on Saturday, 28 March 2020. He said, "We (government) know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life" By this, he was asking everyone to stay safe and alive. Why then should the disease be taken to a school of a student population of nearly four thousand?
Could the patients not be housed in some of the offices of the massive District Assembly block put up by my own best friend and Kumawu Roman Catholic primary School to Kumawu Local Authority (L/A) Middle School classmate, the late Mr Yaw Brenyah?
Why is my former Kumawu Tweneboa Kodua Secondary School, now Kumawu Tweneboa Kodua Senior High School, so cursed to have bad or irresponsible headmasters? I cannot understand it. And, on a number of occasions I have had to publish my views about the bad things or bad behaviours of the headmasters and this is no exception.
Why are these happening in the school of the late Senior Duffour, (School Prefect in 1971), Senior Gyasi (School Prefect in 1972), Senior Edward Adusei Pianim (School Prefect in 1973), Senior Akoloo (School Prefect in 1974) and Daniel Sekyere Marfo (School Prefect in 1975)?
As at writing, some students have threatened to leave the school to find new schools elsewhere when school reopens should the school be used to house the patients as is already agreed.
I rest my case and hope the government will step in to come up with a better solution to allay the fears of the concerned parents and students.
Whoever reads this publication must please escalate it to the attention of the President, the government and the Ghana Education Service.
The public will be updated as and when I get new information on this decision by the DCE and the headmaster of the school.
Thursday, 2 April 2020