Freetown, Mar. 11, 2015 (MOHS) – Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Madina Rahman has been speaking to Principals, Pupils, Head Teachers and Parents ahead of the re-opening of schools.
Addressing Principal, Staff, Parents, Pupils and Teachers of the St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School in Freetown about plans put in place by the Ministry of Health, Transport and Aviation, Education, Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Local Government Water Resources and other line Ministries, Madam Rahman reiterated President Koroma’s commitment to ensuring that a conducive healthy environment is provided in all schools to make learning and teaching comfortable.
She noted the concerns of parents and guardians for the safety of their children ahead of the re-opening of schools pointing out that the aspect of sanitation, hygiene, cleaning of the compound and classrooms, provision of safe drinking water, learning materials and school feeding programme among other areas of concern have been prioritized by government.
Madam Rahman reminded her audience about the effect of the Ebola outbreak and its negative impact on education, the economy and social life of the people, adding that people have lost their loved ones, resulting to the death of Bread Winners that we now have Orphans affected by the epidemic.
She admonished pupils and students to refrain from stigmatizing their colleagues who have survived the virus, and appealed to them to demonstrate empathy, and embraced them as heroes and heroines in the school and the communities they live.
The Deputy Minister re-emphasized the need to observe personal hygiene, body contact, sharing of utensils, the proper use of the toilet, and the other precautionary measures to help get into zero infection.
Five Inferell Thermometers per school, hand washing stations and first aid kits, the Deputy Minister said would be made available to promote hygiene and prevention control.
The Principal, St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School, Hilda Lamboi called for the collective effort of parents and guardians to support the government, its Ministries and partners to get into zero infection. She thanked the Deputy Minister for the visit, she described as very educative and encouraging.
Parents and pupils in their contributions expressed concern over commercial vehicles taking passengers above capacity, need for public bus service for schools, the position of pupils and students in quarantined homes ahead of the re-opening of schools.
The Deputy Minister in a similar development visited the Prince of Wales School and the St. Edwards Secondary School to assess the level of preparedness.
At the Prince of Wales School, the Deputy Minister had dialogue with the Junior Secondary School (JSS) Principal, Mr. Rodney Coker, and the Principal of St. Edwards Secondary Junior and Secondary Schools, Wilmoth Johnson-Cole and Freddie Wyse.
St. Edwards Secondary School according to Mr. Coker is expected to start this school year with a ‘One Shift’ System.