Colleges of Education in the Northern Region are being disinfected against the novel coronavirus ahead of resumption of academic activities for final year students as directed by government last week.
Two months after all schools were closed down to prevent the spread of the covid-19 pandemic in the country, President Nana Akufo-Addo last Sunday directed final year students in JHS, SHS and tertiary institutions to resume activities when he announced easing of covid-19 restrictions.
All schools were however asked to put in place a number of covid-19 safety protocols including a mandatory disinfection of their facilities consequent to which Ghana’s leading waste management firm Zoomlion was contracted for the exercise.
The company, which has been leading the fight against covid-19 prevention through disinfection of thousands of government and private facilities, on Thursday, began fumigating some tertiary institutions in the Northern Region.
The exercise commenced from the Tamale College of Education where offices, classrooms, administration block, dining halls among others were disinfected with a WHO-approved chemical.
Vice Principal of the College, Nuhu Imoro Alhassan, welcomed the decision for the gradual resumption of academic activities, indicating that the e-learning system has not helped some of his students.
According to him, some trainees of the College do not have smartphones to access the e-learning platform, noting that even in the case of those who have smartphones, internet accessibility was a challenge for them.
The process has just started. The spraying that you’re seeing is just the beginning. When they come we will also monitor them and see how we can address the situation.
Notwithstanding, Mr Alhassan said the College will not go back to what have been taught through the e-learning course but will continue, but said “we have to find out how many people didn’t get contact hours so that we can organize classes for them because starting all over may be a problem”.
Asked whether the College will use the e-learning to assess the trainees he answered in the negative, explaining that “UCC is saying they are not use the e-learning to assess students and so we are still discussing with them ways and means of assessing the students”
Meanwhile he has welcomed the disinfection exercise, saying “the spraying that you’re seeing is just the beginning”
When the final year trainees report for continuation of academic work, he the vice principal said the College authorities will monitor them for signs of covid-19.
At the Bagabaga College of Education where the Zoomlion disinfection team undertook similar disinfection, the vice Principal, Emmanuel Alhssan said he was glad that the trainees were to return on June 22 for academic activities.
He said the school has prepared for their coming indicating that UCC which they are affiliated to has already issued a timetable for resumption of academic activities.
“Back on campus, the management and the academic board of the college met to plan and strategise on how to receive the students when they come. The various lecturers who are handling them with regards to teaching practice, project work revision have been informed of what is expected of them,” he said.
Covid-19 safety protocols, he said, have also been put in place and that the College has teamed up with its in-house doctors, nurses and health tutors to offer screening for every trainee before being allowed on campus.
“We have a clinic that have two medical doctors who provide medical services and so we have discussed with them the reporting of these students and so when the students come, the health workers; we have nurses who are there and we also have tutors who are health tutors and so we would do an initial screening of these students before they’re let into any facility on campus,” Mr Alhassan said..
Touching on social distancing, he said the College has adequate infrastructure to ensure that all the required protocols are followed.
“We have sufficient lecture halls that can accommodate up to a 1000 students but the final year students are just 510 and so we will be accommodating just about a half,” he noted.