The Headmaster of the Koforidua Senior High Technical School (SECTECH), Mr Samuel Prince Folley, has revealed that bedbug infestation in the school sometimes compelled students to sleep in the school’s dining hall before the closure of schools on March 16 as a result of the COVID-19.
He said with the high incidence of bedbug infestation, students found it extremely difficult to sleep, especially at night, adding that the situation was also taking a toll on academic work. Mr Folley made the revelation during a fumigation and disinfection exercise in senior high schools (SHSs) in the Eastern Region last Thursday by Zoomlion Ghana Limited.
The exercise formed part of efforts by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to rid SHSs in the country of bedbugs, and to also help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when students are called back.
About 14 SHSs were covered on the day, and they included the Oyoko Methodist SHS, Universal SHS, Oti Boateng SHS, SDA SHS, Liberty Specialist Institute, Hyundai Koica Technical Institute and Pope John’s SHS.
The rest are Ghana SHS, New Juaben SHS, Moses Accountancy SHS, New Juaben College of Commerce, School For the Deaf and the Pentecost SHS.
Apart from the issue of bedbugs, Mr Folley indicated that his school was also grappling with how to deal with rodents.
Against that backdrop, he commended the GES and Zoomlion Ghana Limited for the initiative.
He was upbeat that the exercise would help rid the school of bedbugs.
On post-COVID-19, the headmaster of SECTECH disclosed that the school had bought a number of Veronica buckets, soaps and alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Mr Folley said they would be placed at vantage points to for the students to use as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus.
However, he admitted that it would be difficult for the students to observe the social/physical distancing protocol, attributing that to high student population and the lack of adequate dormitories.
At the Pentecost SHS, the Headmaster, Mr Peter Atta Gyamfi, described the exercise as ‘timely,’ adding that it would help get rid of bedbugs from the school.
He, therefore, urged the GES to ensure that fumigation of SHSs was periodically done.
He stated that the coronavirus pandemic had affected students, particularly those in their final year. That notwithstanding, he was hopeful that things would return to normal for academic work to continue.
For his part, the Headmaster of Oyoko Methodist SHS, Mr Frank Nkum Eyiah, indicated that his administration had put in place a plan that would adequately prepare, especially the final year students, for their examinations.
A similar package, he added, would be made available to cater for SHS One and SHS Two students respectively, to help them catch up for what they have lost over the period.
The Proprietor of Royal Beam Preparatory School at Kasoa in the Central Region, Mr Nicholas Issah Wassan, has called on the government to come to the aid of private schools with some financial support to enable them to pay their teachers.
The Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) is to be renamed the Ghana Communications Technology University.
Integrated Data Systems (IDS) an ICT Services Provider has launched its free online virtual classes for schools across the country.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) is working in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Limited to fumigate second-cycle educational institutions in the country.
More than 400 schools, including the Special Schools, across the country, have been targeted for fumigation in order to disinfect the facilities from harmful bacteria.
The exercise would see administration blocks, classrooms, dormitories, staff bungalows and the campuses of these schools being cleansed thoroughly for the safety of students and staff, according to Zoomlion Ghana Limited.
Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company, in a speech read on his behalf at a press briefing in Kumasi, said the exercise would commence in the Ashanti Region effective Friday, April 17.
A total of 134 public and 53 private Senior High Schools (SHSs), as well as three Special Schools in the Region, would be fumigated over a ten-day period.
Dr. Agyepong indicated that the Company was liaising with the Ministry of Education to ensure a successful exercise, saying formal notification had been served Management of the beneficiary schools for their cooperation.
Given the enormity of the project, he said, some companies, including Desert Lion International Ghana, manufacturers of agro and insecticide-related products, had been brought on board.
Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, the Regional Minister, said the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) had taken some precautionary measures to help protect the citizenry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have disinfected the markets, lorry terminals, drainage system and Kumasi Central Business District (CBD) over the last month,” he noted.
The Regional Minister asked the media to partner the government effectively in order to create the needed awareness on the pandemic.
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has said the Free SHS policy introduced by the Akufo-Addo-led administration has improved access to senior high schools but bridled with substantial challenges.