Educational systems across the world are experiencing major policy changes. One of these changes is related to the increase of school populations. The implementation of the Free SHS educational policy in Ghana is one of the policies with long term benefits aimed at improving the human capital base of the country. Countries practicing free education have recorded an increase in the level of literacy among their citizens. They, however, had to contend with the challenges of increase in enrolment. Perhaps, increases in enrolments are because of abolition of school fees thus making way for more students to have access to education. Students have been grouped into batches, Green, Gold and final year students on single track.
The double track educational system has made it possible for students to be in school throughout the calender year, one batch leave and the other batch enter. The kitchen staff who cook for students have been working throughout the whole year non stop, they begin work as early as 4am to prepare breakfast for the students, lunch and supper and return home late. The National matron has appeal to the Ministry of Education and the Government to employ more kitchen staff to ease their burden. Increasing the number of kitchen staff in the double track schools will give them opportunity to run on shift to enanle them to have enough time to rest.
Environments with high heat and humidity, such as kitchen, contribute to heat-related illnesses among workers who spend long hours under these stress conditions. Heat stress in school kitchens can be due to high air temperature, humidity, radiant heat and airflow. Thermal strain induced by such occupations can lead to health risks like acute heat stroke, blood circulation problems, and discomfort at work place, Heat stress is still the most neglected occupational hazard in the Senior High Schools across the country, Heat stress and related dehydration can result in acute or chronic kidney failure.
Kitchen staff of Senior High Schools are prone to heat stress at work place due to heat generated from cooking practices. This can cause damage to their kidneys. There should be a regular medical screening for the kitchen staff in the various Senior High Schools. The salary for the kitchen staff in Ghana Education Service is just a peanut.
Risks allowance for the kitchen staff, long term exposure to heat at the kitchen can cause life threatening disease among the kitchen staff, payment of risk allowance to kitchen staff will enable them seek for regular medical check up.
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