Govt Orders Closure Of Varsities Over Ebola

The Ministry of Education have postponed the start of the 2014/2015 academic year for tertiary institutions in the country to allow for proper measures to be put in place to prevent an Ebola outbreak.

The decision by the Ministry of Education follows the advice of the inter-ministerial team to postpone the reopening of the institutions for at least two weeks to ensure that the universities in Ghana prepare adequately to prevent an outbreak of the disease.

The directive was contained in a release signed by the sector minister, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang and copied to the National Council for Tertiary Education, as well as Vice Chancellors, rectors, presidents and principals.

Earlier, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and University of Cape Coast (UCC) postponed the re-opening following the strike by University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).

The University of Ghana, Legon also announced the postponement of the reopening of the institution in a statement issued yesterday.

‘Due to the ongoing industrial action by the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), the University of Ghana has postponed the start of the 2014/2015 academic year.

‘All students, parents and the general public are hereby informed that the University will not reopen for the 2014/2015 academic year as previously announced.

‘The University will announce new dates for the start of the 2014/15 academic year in due course,’ a statement signed by E.A. Amartey, Acting Registrar said.

The Ministry also urged the tertiary institutions to comply with the directive and attend a meeting with one principal health officer scheduled to take place under the auspices of the Chief of Staff on Monday 18 th August.

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, has killed over a 1,000 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The symptoms of Ebola include fever, nausea and internal bleeding.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola Virus.

 By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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