The Ahafo Regional Education Directorate has stated that for pupils not to wear face masks before and after school hours can ignite the spread of COVID-19 so, therefore, has called on teachers and parents to intensify the need of wearing them once they are in public.
The Regional Director of Education, Dr. Peter Attafuah said this due to an observation made by CHRONICLE revealing that most 2019/2020 final year pupils at the Junior High School(JHS) in the region only wear their face masks in school and completely ignore the wearing before and after school especially on their way to school and on their way back home.
In his explanation, the said practice adopted by the 2019/2020 Basic Education Certificate Examination(BECE) candidates in the region who just resumed under the directives of the country’s president is unacceptable and a bad one that ought to be looked at if really the country wants to halt the spread of the virus.
According to him, teachers and parents must strongly let the pupils know the need to wear their face masks all the time once they are in mist of others irrespective of where they find themselves because one might not know where the virus is.
Dr. Attafuah mentioned, teachers have been sensitized on COVID-19 so a lot is expected from them to coach the final year pupils on the things they need to do to completely minimise the spread of the novel coronavirus which is infecting people on daily basis in the country. He said, teachers are ensuring that pupils adhere to the protocols of COVID-19 but it should not be limited to the premises of schools.
” Let them know that one can’t determine where the virus is so protocols must be respected 24,7 ” he passionately told teachers.
He urged teachers to apply all efforts to ensure that pupils put on masks avert the spread because gradually the region is recording cases and it will not be a pleasing news to hear that COVID-19 has infected BECE candidates upon all the efforts made by the government and other stakeholders of education.
On the part of parents, Dr. Peter Attafuah who doubles as the Education Director for Bono and Bono East Regions categorically said, parents also have fair knowledge of the virus via sensitization on radio, television, newspapers and community information centres so they also the responsibility to educate their wards. He said, parents must know that once their wards are infected it puts them also at risk so collective efforts are needed to streamline the lifestyle of the candidates.
He disclosed that if teachers and parents fail to let them know the need to wear the masks off campus it means work done by the education sector is zero because the lives of the candidates will be at risks likewise teachers and parents.
Some of the pupils CHRONICLE spoke with at all the six district capitals(Goaso, Kukuom, Kenyasi, Hwidiem, Bechem and Duayaw Nkwanta) revealed, the heat the masks produce is unbearable so they thought it wise to have fresh air on their way to school and when lessons are over because in school it is compulsory to put them on. Again, they do not see the need to wear the masks when they are out because most people walk freely without having them on.
” At times people insult us and call us names for wearing the masks anytime we are in the public ” they added.
On another development, the District Director of Education for Asutifi North also in the region, Augustine Amoako Asare appealed with Parents Teachers Association(PTA), Chiefs, Churches, Assembly members among others to help the schools to clear the bushy environments which remains problematic to most schools especially at the rural areas.
To him, the final year pupils are just a hand full and can not tidy the entire compound as expected so areas of major concern have been cleared by them for the time being to allow lessons to thrive. He added, unlike the Senior High Schools which have labourers, the JHS in rural areas do things by themselves so therefore help is expected from the people.