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Schools’ Resumption amidst COVID-19

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CLASSES have resumed across secondary schools in Ondo State. They were opened to allow students in the senior secondary classes to write their final examination. This came after months of federal government’s indecision over the desirability of re-opening schools amidst COVID-19 pandemic. It capitulated following pressure from Nigerians and agitations that the future of students in exit classes should not be sacrificed on the altar of the pandemic.
The federal government while considering opening schools handed conditions to be fulfilled before schools doing so. They include social distancing, constant hand washing, use of nose mask and temperature testing among others.
THE state has only allowed SS3 students to be in school with a view to monitoring its implications on the public health. This will determine if it would allow the Junior Secondary students who are in the exit class to resume and write the final examinations. Government has not also left anything to chances. It not only disinfected all the schools, it also closed schools which failed to adhere to all protocols relating to preventing any spark of the virus in the schools across the state.
CORONAVIRUS disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been a devastating public health crisis, requiring significant lockdown measures to combat its spread. In Nigeria, millions of workers have become unemployed, and almost 40 million children are out of school for the remaining academic year. According to UNESCO, about35.9 million primary and secondary school learners are currently out-of-school as a result of the schoolclosures.
FOR primary schools, this number totals approximately 25.6 million students, of which about 87percent (23.5 million) are students enrolled in public schools. The numbers are just as stark for secondary school learners. Of the roughly 10.3 million secondary school students who are out-of-school as a result of the closures, approximately 81 percent (8.4 million) of them are public school students.
A critical consideration for reopening schools is the epidemiology of COVID-19 in children. There is evidence that compared with adults, children are three -fold less susceptible to infection, more likely to be asymptomatic, and less likely to be hospitalized and die. While rare reports of pediatric multi-inflammatory syndrome need to be monitored, its association with COVID-19 is extremely low and typically treatable.
WE therefore commend government for its boldness to open schools at this critical period not minding the fact that there are serious reasons being canvassed from some quarters against such decision. Our position is that it is a risk worth considering the fact that the kids also have to progress no matter the challenges the nation is currently grappling with.
NO doubt, COVID 19 pandemic is a global problem. Some countries have opened their schools with little implications on public health. For instance, Australia has recorded over 100 days without recording fresh cases of COVID 19, even when her schools are opened. Countries like Germany and Russia, among others are coping even while their schools are in session.
THEREFORE , government should closely monitor activities of these schools as regards adherence to the health protocols and ensure that nothing is done that would aggravate the infection rate in the state. We observe that the infection rate in the country, nay Ondo state is nose driving. For instance, 290 persons were infected in Nigeria while just five cases were recorded for Ondo State yesterday.
WE thus believe that the time is ripe for allowing more students, most especially the JSS 3 students back into school. Students too deserve to be taught and an idle hand is a devil’s workshop. We therefore encourage the state government to continue monitoring development with a view to opening schools across the state.
IT is a known fact that most private school teachers are passing through harrowing experiences and opening the schools would definitely ameliorate their suffering.

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