By Ohenenana Teleku
By the grace of God Almighty, Allah, Chukwu, Olorun … a Ghanaian is yet to test positive for the dreaded Ebola virus currently trying to decimate some West African countries.
And ongoing 24-hour prayer is that Ebola should never find a foothold in Ghanaian soil.
However, the authorities are not sitting down with folded arms. The Ministry of Education, in compliance with the directives of inter-ministerial experts committee on Ebola prevention, has tasked all tertiary institutions to submit “contingency programmes” for the purpose.
Five universities have so far submitted contingency programmes on the dreaded Ebola Viral Disease, (EVD) to the Ministry of Education as recently directed by the ministry, while the others have promised to forward theirs to the ministry soon.
So far the University of Professional Studies, Accra; University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani; University of Health & Allied Sciences, Ho; All Nations University (Koforidua) and Blue Crest University in Accra have submitted their programmes to the Ministry of Education which has forwarded them to the committee headed by the Health Minister, who for once, is a professional doctor for validation.
The worry though is that a host of universities, including the major public universities of Ghana, Legon-Accra, of Science & Technology, Kumasi, of Development Studies, Tamale, and of Cape Coast are yet to submit at the last count.
However, ministry officials have met with Vice-Chancellors of both public and private universities and reminded them of the urgency of the anti-Ebola preparations.
Additionally government “is almost ready” to start the distribution of the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for frontline health practitioners in the tertiary institutions. Orders have been placed for 10,000 of them.
“Government remains committed to its pledge to distribute the PPE to all frontline health personnel in the tertiary institutions”, Deputy Education Minister Okudzeto-Ablakwa told journalists.
Anti-Ebola contingency plans are also being worked for first and second cycle educational institutions, with a stakeholders meeting already held and follow-ups ongoing.
The meeting discussed and strategised on the “adoption of mitigating factors as well as the development of a comprehensive operational response plan”.
At the meeting were the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Ebola, representatives of the Ministry of Health, GES Committee on Ebola/Cholera (Basic Education), Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools, all regional directors of Education and the Ghana National Association of Private Schools (Basic Private Schools) .
Also present were the Conference of Directors of Education (CODE), the National Parent Teacher Association and the Association of Principals of Technical Institutes.
The focus, it was gathered was on “educational materials, the dos and don’ts and how teachers could improve on their level of supervision”.
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