Officials of the Ghana Education Service in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal of the Eastern Region on Wednesday began the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to basic and Senior High Schools including public and private schools, in the municipality.
The Municipal Education Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) received 2,814 gallons of 5litres of liquid soap and 1003 rolls of tissue to be distributed to 87 Private Junior High Schools (JHS), 47 public Junior High Schools, 4 public Senior High Schools (SHS), 6 Private Senior High Schools as well as a number of primary schools.
The Directorate distributed quantities of the items to 58 Junior High Schools and 4 Senior High Schools to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As at close of Wednesday when this reporter got to the ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ School where the distribution exercise was ongoing, 32 Private Junior High Schools, 26 public Junior High Schools and 4 Senior High Schools (public and private) had taken delivery of items for their various schools.
The PPE shared included tissue papers and liquid soaps with other PPE such as nose masks and hand sanitisers missing from the list of items received by the schools.
Municipal School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinator, Godfred Ofoe Caesar in an interview said the distribution of the items was to add to what the schools had received early on.
Teachers and heads of schools have also been trained on the strict enforcement of COVID-19 protocols in their respective schools.
This he maintained was ample demonstration of the Directorate’s preparedness to enforce the government’s directives and protocols in the fight against COVID-19 in schools across the Municipality.
“As we talk now, the children are in school and the operations have gone down for the children to stay safe in the school. We met all the headteachers and sensitised them on what to do with regards to the protocols. The PPEs are also being provided, most of the schools have veronica buckets, stands, soap, tissues papers and sanitisers,” he said adding that some of these are surplus items provided earlier in 2020 and at the beginning of this academic year.
Mr. Ceasar maintained that effective monitoring would be conducted to ensure the strict usage of the provided items by the schools.
A teacher at the Kpong M/A JHS, Caroline Edem Fiagbenu who received the items on behalf of her headteacher said her school had no other PPE aside the liquid soap and tissues received on the day.
“No we don’t have any other PPE,” was her response to a question of whether her school had other PPE. “We can only use this for some few weeks and then be waiting for other consignments. I asked them if this is all they have and they said we should use this for the meantime.”
Proprietor for Talented Academy, a private school said the items would complement some items already received including thermometer guns and veronica buckets.
“Before the resumption, we have already made the preparation, we’ve already bought some few things to take care of the kids while we wait for the government to supply us,” said the proprietor.
Prior to the distribution of the PPE, Municipal Chief Executive for the Area, Simon Kweku Tetteh together with officials of the Ghana Education Office and Ghana Health Service visited the schools to familiarize themselves with the situation.
The schools re-opened on Monday and most of them, including the private schools, were seen in classes.
The pupils and students in the schools visited who however appeared to be very conscious of the COVID-19 protocols wore nose masks brought from home as they awaited the arrival of the items from authorities.
At some schools, veronica buckets, temperature guns, hand sanitisers among others were placed at vantage points.
The headmaster of the Mount Mary Demonstration M/A, Christian Mensah said the students were compelled to bring nose masks to school.
Asked if those who fail to heed this directive would be turned away, the school head answered in the affirmative but added that “so far, all students were complying with the ‘no nose mask, no school’ campaign.”