President Akufo-Addo” in his televised update today said its government will pay the fees for students sitting the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
Addressing the nation as final year SHS and second year Gold Track students prepare to return to school, the President indicated that 75.4 million cedis will be spent on the exercise.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, government will absorb the WASSCE examination fees of the 313,837 students who will sit for the exams.
“75.4 million cedis will be spent on this,” President Akufo-Addo said when he gave his 12th address since the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.
After months of closure of schools by the president, he has started a partial re-opening of schools to avoid the spread of the virus.
Final year university students started the phased reopening as they reported to school on June 15. Final year SHS and second year Gold Track students will also report to their various schools on Monday, June 22.
The SHS students will be in school for six weeks before sitting the WASSCE over a period of two weeks, the President said, contradicting an earlier five-week time frame given by the Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh.
Also SHS 2 Gold Track students, who are returning to complete their first semester like their Green Track colleagues have done, will be in school for six weeks before going on vacation.
President Akufo-Addo urged strict adherence to all Covid-19 protocols when the schools reopen.
He said all 1,167 Senior High Schools across the country have been fumigated and disinfected.
“Each student, teaching and non-teaching staff, invigilator and school administrator, numbering some 800,000, will be provided with three pieces of reusable face masks, i.e. two being provided tomorrow, and the third within a fortnight.
“A total of 18,000 Veronica Buckets, 800,000 pieces of 200 sanitizers, 36,000 rolls of tissue paper, 36,000 gallons of liquid soap, and seven thousand, 7,200 thermometer guns have been distributed,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He urged parents to provide their wards and children with at leaser one face covering on their way to school.
Only a maximum of 25 students will be permitted in each class.
All day students in schools with boarding houses will be resident in their various boarding houses, whilst day students, in schools without boarding facilities, will commute from home, and will be required to adhere to enhanced hygiene protocols.
Eating in dining halls will be in appropriate numbers; and no visitors to the schools will be allowed. There will be no mass gatherings and no sporting activities.
However, religious activities, under the new protocols, will be permitted. Social distancing and the wearing of face masks are obligatory in our schools.
President Akufo-Addo assured all parents and guardians that government is determined to protect the lives of the 800,000 students, teachers and non-teaching staff, who will be returning to school from Monday.
“I will be the last person to put the lives of the ‘Akufo-Addo graduates’ at risk. It bears repeating that they must all adhere strictly to enhanced personal hygiene and social distancing protocols, regularly wash their hands with soap under running water, refrain from shaking hands, and wear masks to protect themselves and others. These rules apply to all of us,” he stated.