The Ghana Education Service (GES) has employed the services of waste management expert, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, to fumigate and disinfect all Senior High Schools (SHS) nationwide.
According to GES, the fumigation exercise is aimed at eradicating pests and insects such as bedbugs which have been tormenting student, especially those in the boarding house, for some years now.
Director-General GES, Prof. Kwesi Opoku Amankwah, speaking during the project launch at Accra Girls SHS, said Zoomlion was contracted to carry out the exercise because they have the capacity, advanced equipment and personal to deliver efficiently and on time.
“We engaged a number of agencies about two years ago to fumigate our schools when bedbugs were disturbing our students; and after the exercise we realised that the situation has rather worsened, as the chemicals used could not kill the insects and the fumigation exercise, too, was haphazardly done.
“We therefore engaged experts on the right chemicals that can kill the bedbugs completely, as well as the organisation that has the capacity to fumigate all schools nationwide within the shortest possible time; and there is only one chemical Zoomlion is going to use to fumigate all the schools nationwide,” he said.
The breakdown of the nationwide SHS fumigation exercise includes 546 boarding, 176 day-public schools, 28 special schools and 380 private SHSs. Both dormitories and classrooms are to be fumigated.
Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in his address at the launch indicated that one of the directives from President Akufo-Addo was that schools should be closed down – and that has affected the education system of both public and private schools, and as such interventions must be directed to both sectors if there are any.
“We do know that bedbugs are not the only problem in our schools, we also have rodents and reptiles; and now COVID-19 waiting to pounce if we lose our ground. Fortunately, our second cycle institutions have not been affected yet; but before the students go back to school, we have to ensure that we disinfect and fumigate all the campuses as some are being used for quarantine and self-isolation purposes against COVID-19.
“The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered our way of life forever, and our educational institutions should move into the 21st century – enabling ICT to do most of the things that they have doing,” he said.
He also urged parents to acknowledge and thank every teacher for the hard work they have been doing in keeping their wards and students safe in schools, as parents are struggling to handle their kids within this short lockdown period.
The event also witnessed the launch of new Zoomlion machinery and equipment for disinfection and fumigation purposes. The exercise is expected to be delivered in two phases.