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Opinions of Saturday, 18 April 2020

Columnist: Nii Lante Mahmood Bill

Promoting safe school environment for teachers and students post Coronavirus

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The school environment is one of a network of close inter-personal interactions among student-student and student-teacher. Expression and manifestation of these relationships promote close contacts of parties involved and thus a catalyst for promotion of the COVID-19 disease which thrives on closeness of contacts.

In Ghana, it is being reported that the youth in the age bracket of 15-35 years forms the larger chunk of affected people of the virus (GHS, 2020)
To this end, the situation whereby public schools having crowded classrooms of students pose a fertile ground for COVID-19 to thrive; thus serious thinking must be made to mitigate such occurrence and to ensure safe school environments in Ghana.

Promoting safe school environments entails new thinking of provision of school infrastructure that promotes social distancing such that the use of mono desk and minimum student enrolment is ensured in the classroom setting.

Furthermore, mono desks should be made available to schools as quickly as possible to replace the dual desks which provide platform for students to sit in twos and in some cases threes.

In addition, COVID-19 prevention tools such as Veronica Buckets, Sanitizers, Water, Soap, Tissues should be made available to schools and in a very accessible means.

As part of consolidating adherence to COVID 19 prevention protocols in schools, School Health Education Programmes must be strengthened with the needed resources to lead the advocacy of promoting safety school environment, post COVID 19 in schools..

Ghana Health Service should provide leadership in consolidating its working relationship with the Ghana Education Service in this respect.

Through this means, the MMDAs could be motivated to provide the right and appropriate infrastructure for schools under their jurisdiction.

The Novel Corona Virus is real and it’s our collective duty to stay alive by ensuring adherence to its preventive protocols as advocated by the Ghana Health Service.

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