Mix-Feelings As School Resumes Amidst Fear of COVID-19

Compiled By Kingsley Umoh and Adaeze Onuorah

Public and Private schools across the country resume yesterday, following the directive by the Federal Government on the resumption of schools across all levels, most educational institutions open for academic activities amid fears by parents and teachers over the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.

There is the widespread notion from some stakeholders in the sector that public institutions especially, appeared ill-prepared and lacked the capacity to provide and enforce safety measures in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

As schools in Lagos State resumed, in line with a statement by the Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo,  EDUCARE NEWS embark on a tour of some primary and secondary schools in Lagos, to investigate, and inspect the measures put in place to receive pupils back to school, and if the approved COVID-19 guidelines were being followed.

At Fit Charis International School, Lasu-Igando road, pupils were seen returning to school, and the COVID-19 Non-pharmaceutical Intervention like hand sanitizer, face masks, and temperature check was provided for by the school management.

Mrs. Hilda Ukah, who is the HOS of the school, while speaking with the EDUCARE NEWS reporter explained that their teachers had undergone training to prepare and equip them on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic

“To ensure continuous adherence to the COVID-19 protocols, our staff has been trained online before the resumption, to make sure they are well equipped to manage the COVID situation.”

She further added that as schools resume, students protection and safety  is a top priority for the management

When our reporter visited Gracious secondary school, Igando, the school management led by Mr. BabaFemi  Adewusi received our reporter, students were pictured seated in class with their face masks, while social distance was maintained, there was also provision for running tap and hand sanitizer just at the entry of the gate.

Adewusi, who was wearing a face mask, informed EDUCARE NEWS that though most of their students are yet to resume, they have ensured that all COVID-19 guidelines were strictly adhered to by students, teachers, staff, and visitors.

He said the school management is adopting a ‘No Face masks, No Entry’ policy while saying that the school had provided face masks for students who don’t have them.

“So far we have kept the Federal Government stipulated guidelines, we enforced a ‘No Face Masks, No entry’ policy and hoped that the parents would understand the rules and policies adopted by the school. We also hoped to continue the strict adherence to the protocol while students fully resume”

Students of Gracious Secondary School, Igando, ready for lessons

The situation at the Local Government Primary School Egan was not different, all COVID-19 preventive measures were put in place, with teachers making effort to ensure strict compliance.

A teacher in the school,  Mr. Alabi O.B, noted that to enforce safety measures for the spread of the virus, the management divided their pupils into two groups; the shine and the achieve, the groups alternate between school days.

“To make sure that the class is not congested, we divided our students into two groups; the shine and the achieve group, and each group alternate between schools. We enforced these rules not because it’s stipulated by the Federal Government but because of ou own safety”

washing soap and water at the Local Govt. Primary School, Egan.

However report gathered in some other schools in  Lagos, indicated that on the first day of resumption, COVID-19 protocols were not observed, students sparingly put on their face masks, while some wore theirs on the chin.

There was no running tap water or hand sanitizer, as social distancing was hardly maintained

In a related development, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Sunday Asefon, assured that the leadership of the association would set up monitoring and enforcement of the protocols in all tertiary institutions across the country.

As of Monday night, January 18, 2021, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)  announced that the country has a total of 112,004 cases of COVID-19 with 89,939 discharged and 1,449 dead.

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