By Frank Amponsah
The leadership of the Conference of Heads of Basic Schools (COHBS) has assured the President of the Republic Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that they will ensure successful academic work as third year Junior High School (JHS) students return to complete their academic work and to write their final exit examinations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced government to close all schools in March 2020.
COHBS gave their assurance at the Jubilee House, yesterday, June 23, 2020, when they paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo, at his invitation through their national president.
Mercy Akayila Anuembee, President of the Conference of Heads of Basic Schools (COHBS), speaking on behalf of her colleagues said all Basic school managers accept the decision to reopen schools as announced by the President, on the 31st of May 2020 during his address to the nation and that they are ready for any challenge that same will pose.
“Mr. President, a few weeks ago, you announced the partial easing of restrictions which has resulted in the recall of the final year Junior High Students to come back to school to write their BECE exams. Let me use this opportunity to assure the President and the government that we have accepted the mandate fully and prepared to work very hard in this new normal times with the observation of all the needed protocols to ensure our children successfully write the BECE without any hitch,” Mercy Akayila Anuembee said.
The COHBS President further called on government to ensure that all basic schools receive their PPEs as promised by government to guarantee the safety of students, teaching and non-teaching staff who are all resuming work from the 29th of June 2020.
Addressing the leadership of the Conference of Heads of Basic Schools (COHBS), President Akufo-Addo, said academic work will be restricted to four hours, from 9am to 1pm. He added that for the first time, government will be paying professional allowance to professional teachers.
“We are insisting on some basic conditions, class sizes cannot be more than thirty in each class”. We want to organize it such that the schools have one shortened school day from 9 to 1pm. We are paying for the first in the history of this country, professional allowance to professional teachers,” President Akufo-Addo said.
With the resumption of school work at the Junior high school level, a total of about nine hundred thousand (900,000) students, teachers and non-teaching staff are expected to resume work after about three (3) months of closure of schools in the country.
In another development, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Shi Ting Wang, said Ghana like the rest of the world, will win the fight against the novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, which is currently battling the world since it was first discovered in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.
The Chinese diplomat gave the assurance at the Jubilee House when he paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo, to bid farewell to the Republic after a two year tour of duty in Ghana.
He said “Our relations has been further strengthened facing the challenge of Covid-19. We have supported each other and have corporate very well. At the beginning of this year, when China was in difficulties, you gave us a lot of support. You are one of the first Presidents to write a letter of solidarity to our President. Now, in return, we have also given you a lot of support. It is my hope that we will win the fight against the pandemic as soon as possible.”
The Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Andrew Barnes, also paid a courtesy call on the President to bid farewell after four years of tour of duty in Ghana.
The High Commissioner in his brief statement indicated that he has had a wonderful four years in Ghana. He commended government for its efforts aimed at fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated the outgoing Ambassador and wished him God’s speed and best of lack in his next assignment.