…Ogun u-turns, makes COVID-19 test free for all returning SS3 boarding students
By Adesina Wahab & Joseph Erunke
STUDENTS in Senior Secondary School class 3, yesterday, resumed in Lagos State to begin preparations for the 2020 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, billed to start on August 17, 2020.
When Vanguard visited some schools in Alagbado and Ajasa areas of Lagos, it was observed that both private and public schools tried as much as possible to meet the health and safety conditions stipulated by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country.
However, Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs, demanded by the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, were missing on the staff of schools visited.
Also, while most private schools have clinics or what is called sick bays, public schools had to rely on sending back any student found to be sick or running a high temperature.
At Surulere Senior Secondary School, Alagbado, Vanguard met three staff members with infrared thermometers at the gate, checking the temperatures of staff and students as they come in.
Two hand washing facilities were also installed near the gate for people to wash their hands.
Two other hand washing points were located on the premises, while the entrance of each class has a bucket converted to a handwashing facility and a hand sanitiser placed on top.
Students were not allowed in unless they had their nose masks on.
The Principal, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Ojiba, refused to comment on the situation.
It was gathered that the school has only 96 SSS 3 students and they have been divided into four classes to allow for social distancing.
On how to take care of any emergency, it was learned that a nearby state-owned health centre could come to the rescue when necessary.
At Grimes International College, also in Alagbado, each student was given a free nose mask to complement the ones they brought from home.
The Proprietor, Mrs. Gladys Grimes, said her final year students are 34 and was divided into three classes.
The school has a sickbay.
At Lawrence Private School in Ajasa, enlightenment banners about COVID-19 pandemic and safety measures to be taken were placed at the gate and other conspicuous points in the premises.
Commenting on the development, Chairman of the NUT in Lagos, Mr. Adesina Adedoyin, said: “We have gone round some schools and I have also sent some officials of the union to go round the six education districts in the state. It may take some days to do a thorough assessment of the situation, but we can say that the government has tried to put in place some safety measures in the public schools visited.
“We hope that everything works out well and there are no hitches or negative fallouts from this phased opening of schools. As teachers, we are always ready to do the job we are paid to do, only that we want the safety of all stakeholders to be guaranteed.”
Minister to tour Unity Colleges
Similarly, as Unity Colleges owned by the Federal Government are scheduled to reopen for final year students today, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said he would embark on an assessment tour of the colleges.
Nwajiuba, in a statement by Bem Goong, Director of Press and Public Relations in the Federal Ministry of Education, stated that the Permanent Secretary and the directors in the ministry would join him in the assessment tour.
The statement reads: “Ahead of August 4th, 2020, Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has announced that all the 104 Unity Colleges are ready to open their gates to exit classes tomorrow.
“Announcing the preparedness of the Unity Colleges at a meeting with the Commissioners for Education of the 36 States of the Federation this morning via the Zoom platform, the Minister lauded Principals of Unity Colleges for the comprehensive preparation put in place for resumption.
“Across states, the Commissioners reported varying degrees of preparation and readiness for reopening between the 4th and 10th of August, 2020 for virtually all schools within their jurisdictions.
“From today, the Minister of State for Education, Permanent Secretary and Directors will embark on an assessment tour of all Unity Colleges to ascertain and confirm the reports they have received from the Principals of Unity Colleges.
“Similarly, Federal Education Quality Assurance Directors deployed to the states have been directed to monitor compliance in their respective states.
“The Commissioners from the states were enjoined to embark on assessment tours of their jurisdictions to ascertain the level of preparations for reopening.
“While most schools will reopen tomorrow, others will continue to fine-tune their preparations in the coming days for reopening.”