Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye has disclosed the social interventions and initiatives undertaken by government prior to the reopening of schools in the country.
According to Dr. Okoe Boye, the government didn’t act on its own accord to reopen schools but held consultation meetings with the various teacher/parent unions and stakeholders in the education sector.
He noted that it was upon the stakeholder consultations that the government made the decision to allow the students to go back to the classrooms.
He added that the government put precautionary measures in place to safeguard the students against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Okoe Boye made this disclosure following calls by the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako that the government should make public all its engagements and efforts before and after the reopening of the schools.
Kweku Baako believed the government publishing what it’s done will help parents of the school children and Ghanaians appreciate their efforts to protect the students and further bring to rest matters on whether or not the schools should be closed because some Senior and Junior High Schools have recorded cases of the virus.
“The engagements they had, the school authorities they engaged; they should publish, publicize and communicate those things . . . the supplies they have made, the number of sanitizers they’ve distributed and so forth including the schools they have provided these things.
”Put it out there. Let people know that this is the commitment. This is the management process that’s going on. It doesn’t mean you have 100 percent solution or everything is fine but people will understand you when they have the info,” he advised President Akufo-Addo.
Speaking on Peace FM’s programme ‘Kokrokoo’, Dr. Okoe Boye informed the general public about what government has done and continually doing for the school children in order to allay fears of the parents of the students.
“The government had to take care of a population of 1.7 million comprising students, lecturers, teachers and non-teaching staff. 200,000 people had to be dealt with at the Tertiary level, the SHS was 800,000 – that’s students, teachers and their families on the campus – and JHS was 750,000 children and teachers. So, in all this is an operation that took care of 1.7 million Ghanaians; one of the biggest operations ever carried out. We had to send Veronica bucket to every school in this country, of course both public and private. In all, my calculations as part of a Committee set up by the Senior Minister, 64,700 Veronica buckets were distributed across at a cost average of GHC 32.3 million. Now, I like to mention money because it is your money that determines whether you’re serious about a project,” he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
He added a total of 4,800 thermometer guns were also purchased for all the schools.
“We bought 48,000 pieces of thermometer guns. Each thermometer gun is between GHC 1,000 to about GHC 500. So, if you calculate, it’s about GHC 48 million. In fact, when you check the face masks we distributed, we shared a total of 5.2 million,” he said.
Dr. Okoe Boye was without doubt the Akufo-Addo administration has the students at heart and will do everything to protect them while they remain in their schools.