School reopening: Danger looms as pupils, teachers fail to observe guidelines

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Some schools, especially Government institutions in Osun State have failed to observe the COVID-19 guidelines for the reopening of schools in the state.

News correspondent, who monitored the compliance on Monday and Tuesday, visited Girls’ Baptist High School, CAC gbodofon in Osogbo, Methodist Baptist High School, Ilesa and observed that there was low level of compliance.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government had warned schools to adhere to measures put in place to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, gave this warning during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on Monday in Abuja.

According to the Health Minister, 10 percent of coronavirus cases in Nigeria are under 19 years old.

Nevertheless, the Osun Government had warned citizens to take personal responsibility for their safety against the COVID-19 pandemic, irrespective of security measures being relaxed across the country.

Checks in some public schools in Osogbo and Ilesa by newsmen showed that total compliance is difficult to observe for teachers and the students.

However, failure to comply with COVID-19 guidelines in the schools might lead to spark in the cases.

Meanwhile, Osun recorded 4 new cases yesterday making 817 recorded cases of COVID-19 in total, with 17 mortality rate and 17 patients in it’s isolation centres.

However, with the new sitting arrangement in the classroom, some schools could not take in all the students without compromising the social distancing protocol.

Teachers, assistant teachers rather; teaching practice students, securities and students were seeing without facemask while hand-washing buckets were also found empty without water.

Some teachers in Osogbo did not understand COVID-19, saying “we taught everything is over. There is no COVID-19 in Osun,” a teacher told newsmen.

While speaking, Mrs. Dupe Aderinola, the principal of CAC Grammar School, Araromi, Osogbo, said we cannot wait forever.

He said, “That is the bitter truth. After all, people have started attending parties, churches, and other programmes. So, I think it’s not too late that we have resumed now. We cannot wait till eternity because the end of COVID-19 is not in view.

“For students who are yet to resume, we have empty classes. We still have about fifteen rooms that we haven’t used. So, I think we can accommodate more students.

“We just completed a workshop last Friday organised by the Universal Basic Education Commission. All the principals participated and we have been taught many things. In case of any suspected case, we have been told what to do. The first thing is to withdraw the child from the class, then we alert the isolation centre at Asubiaro to come and pick up the student.

“I have discussed with the teachers in order to protect themselves. We have facemasks. We have enough awareness for everyone to keep themselves safe.”

Esther Mosobalaje, principal of Baptist Girls High School, Osogbo said on the assembly, this morning, I informed the students about the COVID-19 rules. The use of facemasks, washing of hands and social distancing.

“Those who did not use facemasks were sent back home. We did not allow them to stay in school. I briefed the teachers after the assembly too. If we abide by the rules, I think it’s safe for us. The government has really tried for us because they gave us bowls for washing of hands, sanitizers, soaps. So, they have really tried.”

However, a parent at Ilesa, Mrs Seun Sabitu, lamented that she could not release her daughter to resume school due to the fear of the coronavirus.

Jamiu Olawumi, the Special Adviser to Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday explained that state government has distributed Sanitizers, infrared thermometer and some other necessary items to schools in the state.

He added that the state has concluded training of principals on the measures to take concerning coronavirus.

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