Mixed reactions have greeted the directives by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to reopen primary and secondary schools in the state from September 21st, 2020.
The Federal Ministry of Education had on March 19 ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools nationwide following the outbreak of coronavirus disease in the country and as part of measures to contain the spread.
However, Governor Sanwo-Olu last Saturday during a press briefing at the State House, Marina announced that the state Ministry of Education was working with the Ministry of Health to review and monitor procedures from the Ministry to safeguard reopening of schools in the state.
“As regards our primary and secondary schools, we are working towards reopening them around the 21st of September 2020. This position is not cast in stone and subject to a review of our ongoing monitoring and procedures from the Ministry of Health.
“Remember that we said that the virus will peak and we will flatten the curve in the month of August. From what we have seen, it appears we have flattened the curve. In the last two weeks, we have continued to see a drop in the positivity that we have encountered in the state,” he said.
Speaking with An24.net corespondent, parents of returning students expressed concern for their wards.
“I am quite edgy about this decision. Being a mother of a 2-year-old daughter, I still consider her vulnerable maybe not solely but the fact that she will be in contact with other children that I don’t know their precaution levels in their different homes. Yes, I see the school is putting a lot of safety precautions in place but I am still very worried about the former,” Mrs Sa’id said.
Meanwhile, a Lagos based data analyst, Mr Idris Ale, said the Federal and State Government should extend the standard for airport reopening to schools across the country. According to him, schools authorities cannot be saddled with the full responsibility of putting safety measures in place.
He said, “Sooner or later, my kids would resume school but my fear is that these schools does not have the safety measures in place yet.
“The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said schools must have an isolation centre but how many of our schools have the capacity to do this? The criteria for reopening of schools must be properly checked before returning students resume.”
A couple, Mr and Mrs Williams, expressed excitement at the directives and they look forward to having their kids go back to school.
“We trust in the policies and procedures that are in place in our kids school. We have been invited to have on-the-spot assessment of the plans in place and we have been impressed so far.
“I’m sure the kids look forward to reuniting with other children in school because I believe socialising is also crucial to their development and well-being.
Also speaking, Mr Steven advised the State Government to dedicate monitoring task force team to ensure total compliance in different schools across the state. He emphasised on the need to ensure social distance in schools as children under the age of 2 years are not advised by the World Health Organisation, WHO, to wear a face mask.
“The Governor should ensure compliance to the safety measures by dedicating monitoring team to schools in the state.
“I personally think it would be nice to ensure compulsory usage of face mask for the older kids while social distancing is closely monitored for younger children.”