The Muslims Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in Lagos State has cautioned the State Government against hasty reopening of schools.
In a Press Statement on Thursday, the Amir (President) of MSSN (Lagos Chapter), Dr. Saheed Ashafa, said the government should take caution before reopening schools, and ensure adequate preparation is put in place.
Dr. Ashafa stated this while responding to the Federal Government’s decision not to allow students to sit for the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) amid rising cases in the country.
According to Ashafa, adequate facilities that will ensure compliance to COVID-19 preventive guidelines are not available in most schools.
The MSSN President also questioned the rationale of reopening schools for graduating students’ over “external pressure” from WAEC.
He said, “According to the NCDC, as of Thursday, July 9, 2020, Lagos has recorded 11,670 confirmed cases of coronavirus, out of which 133 are dead and 1,701 have recovered. This means that there are still 9,835 active cases of coronavirus in Lagos.
“From data gotten via the World Health Organisation Website, Lagos has more cases than all other countries taking WASSCE, except Ghana. The state has, however, recorded more deaths than Ghana. In fact, if the COVID-19 cases in all other country taking WASSCE, except Ghana are added together, Lagos will still have more COVID-19 cases.
“While Ghana has 22,822 cumulative case, 129 deaths, 5,129 active cases, 17,564 recoveries; Sierraleone has 1,572 cumulative cases and 63 deaths. The Gambia had 63 cumulative cases, three deaths, 28 active cases and 32 recoveries; and Liberia has 926 cumulative cases, 41 deaths with 490 active cases.
Since the Government is expected to protect the lives of the people, it should weigh the available options, do the analysis and come out with a conclusion on whether it is more beneficial to take examination at the moment or not, rather than following a bandwagon announcement of the school reopening
“It may be honourable for the state to toe the lines of Federal Government by cancelling its plans to reopen schools for graduating students.
“We also understand that WAEC has assured the public of ensuring the best of COVID-19 protocols, but what about the mental wellness of the students, who will be between passing their examination and being very cautious of not contracting COV ID -19?
“However, we are certain that it will not benefit anybody; parents, students, government, and the nation to approve the taking of exams and lose lives. In as much as we all want to get over COVID -19, as we should be cautious of the hasty reopening of schools.”
Recall the Lagos State Government had earlier announced that schools will be reopen for graduating students preparing for their exams, however, after the Federal Government reversed its own decision to reopen school, it is not yet certain the direction the state Government will take.