Madam Tangoba Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister, on Wednesday urged final year Senior High School (SHS) students to read about the COVID-19 pandemic as part of their preparations towards the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The Minister said they were likely to meet questions on the virus including the mode of prevention and spread of the virus as it was the most topical global issue, which had caused several deaths and affected major economies.
Madam Abayage who is the newly elected Navrongo Central Constituency Parliamentary aspirant, gave the advice when she visited final year students of the Bolgatanga SHS (BIGBOSS) as part of her visits to second cycle institutions in the Municipality, to ascertain how students were coping with the new life of wearing face masks and keeping social distance.
She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had distorted the academic calendar for about three months, and encouraged the candidates to take their studies serious, to make up for the lost contact hours, as they had only about eleven weeks to prepare for their exit examination.
Madam Abayage said “With all these challenges and restrictions, if at the end of the day you do not pass your examination, you have suffered in vain. So make sure you pass very well and move to the next level.”
She said government was working to ensure that they studied in a safe environment, and further admonished them to play their role by ensuring that they adhered to all the protocols, to prevent any possible spread of the virus on their campus.
The Minister warned that any student who violated the protocols, especially the wearing of face masks would be sent home, and said government had procured face masks and alcohol based hand sanitizers to the schools to contain any possible spread of the virus.
Madam Abayage charged teachers to ensure students adhered strictly to the protocols, “Ensure students use face masks, COVID-19 protocols should be part of school rules.”
The Headmaster of BIGBOSS, Mr Ababu Afelbiek, said management of the school had already kept measures in place to protect staff and students pending government’s supply of the PPE, “We earlier bought about 20 ‘Veronica Buckets’, we acquired a thermometer gun and four automatic sanitizer dispensers.”
He confirmed that the school had received its share of the PPE and said each student received two face masks, and a bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer each, “We have provided ‘Veronica Buckets’ with soap, we are waiting for the tissue papers.”
Mr Afelbiek, who is also the Vice President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), disclosed that about 400 students had reported out of about 1000 final year students expected to report to school.
At the Zamse Senior Technical High School, where students had not reported as at Wednesday, and management of the school had not received some of government’s supplied Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the Minister interacted with staff of the school and called on them to reach out to old Students of the school, to support them with PPE to complement government supplies.
When the Minister visited the Bolgatanga Girls SHS (BOGISS) where classes were in session, she reiterated her advice to students of the school, adding that they should ensure that their face masks were always neat, and emphasized on the need to adhere to all the safety protocols.
Mrs Patricia Anaba, the Headmistress of BOGISS, said 409 students had reported as at the time of the Minister’s visit, out of 1083 expected final year students.
At the the Bolgatanga Technical Institute (BOTECH), the Minister in the company of the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Atuura Amiyuuri and other officials from the Regional Education Directorate, interacted with staff of the school.