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Low turnout as schools resume in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Benue after COVID-19 break

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• Kano SUBEB introduces afternoon, evening sessions to decongest classes


Schools in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Benue states yesterday resumed for the 2020/2021 academic session for primary and secondary schools after six months of forced closure since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the schools monitored, students adhered strictly to the revised COVID-19 guidelines set by government for resumption. Students were mandated to wear their facemasks, while necessary provisions for hand-washing and temperature checks on entry were made available by school authorities.

A few of the schools observed the regular morning assembly and the number of students in classes were reduced to prevent close contacts among pupils.

In Oyo State, public primary and secondary schools, now operate morning classes for JSS1-3 between the hours of 8:00a.m. and 11:00a.m. while SS1-3 hold afternoon classes from 12noon to 3:00p.m. in order to ensure social and physical distancing among students.

Low turnout was experienced in Benue State. The education directorate of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Gboko and Katsina-ala had rescheduled full resumption to September 28. The Education Director, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Rev. Fr. Terungwa Tor, directed teachers to resume yesterday, noting that resumption of students would be next week.

The Guardian’s visit to some schools in Makurdi revealed low turnout across government and private primary and secondary schools in the state capital.

At Happy Day nursery and primary school and Hideva Ideal Schools in Makurdi, few pupils and teachers were seen with no serious activities.

In Ogun State, students of AUD Comprehensive High School, Lafenwa Itele, Ota, loitered around, not knowing their next classes. It was the same at St. Peter’s Primary School, Itele Awori, as students only gathered in groups on the school premises and outside, while their classes were cleaned for full resumption

Though schools have yet to resume in Kano State, concerned by the protocols on COVID-19, the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is introducing school shift system in public primary schools in the state. Executive Chairman, SUBEB, Dr Danlami Hayyo, who disclosed the plan, noted that SUBEB is introducing morning, afternoon and evening sessions to decongest densely populated classrooms.

Besides, the SUBEB boss noted that the board has secured N3.2 billion from the state government for expansion project, including construction of new rehabilitation of dilapidated classrooms across the 44 local government areas of the state. The chairman said pending the completion of the expansion work in the schools, government is introducing morning, afternoon and evening session to decongest the classrooms.

In Lagos, the gates of some public schools remained locked yesterday while their private counterparts got busy with resumption activities. The gate of the school compound housing Christ Apostolic Church Primary School, Darocha Primary School and Ajegunle Primary School, Otubu in Agege, was locked but Benjee Kiddies Foundation, Agege opened to welcome students.

Proprietress of the school, Mrs. Grace Akinyemi, said the authority was taking all guidelines seriously such as wearing of facemasks, arrangement of the pupils in their various classes to maintain social distancing, washing of hands with water as well as periodic sanitizing of hands.

“We ensured that instead of having our assembly like before together, we made alternative arrangement for assembly to be held in each class, with the pupils maintaining the required social distancing. We also ensured pupils bring their food from home and we do not permit any pupil sharing his or her meal with anyone.”

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