Education

Parents cry out as Nigerian govt reopen schools amid COVID-19 second wave

NIGERIA – Some Parents have lamented while others have expressed fear as private and public schools resume in Nigeria despite the rise in number of COVID-19 cases.

In the last 24 hours, Nigeria has recorded fifteen deaths due to complications from COVID-19.

Also, COVID-19 cases in the country has risen to 110, 387 with 1,435 deaths in total.

However, the federal government had announced today, January 18 for reopening of schools across the country, even as it continues to deal with the second wave of COVID-19.

Some states like Edo have refused to resume school while others in Lagos State for example have resumed.

Although some students of both public and private schools returned to school today, some parents and guardians have chosen to keep their wards back.

They fear that schools are not well-equipped to put mandatory protocols in place to deal with the new strain of coronavirus which is more deadly.

Reacting, one Ideonrex told this reporter that, “I am honestly afraid about the school resumption. Although the Reps had suggested that reopening of school should be postponed, I feel they should make provision for studies online from primary and secondary schools. It will limit the spread of the virus.

Another parent in Abuja identified as Mr Ebubechukwu Onurah said, “No school should have reopened today if we are really serious about tackling this virus. The FG hasn’t done anything regarding safety measures in all public and private schools in the country. We know the Nigeria govt does not value or respect the lives of its citizens but as a parent, I’m unhappy about this resumption.

Also speaking, a Lagos businessman, Babatunde Akinwumi told our correspondent that, “I’m more worried about Lagos State, yesterday Lagos recorded almost one thousand cases and today the Governor reopened schools but ordered level 1-12 to work from home. Are our children’s lives not important like their parents? A serious Governor would give more time to put the right measures in place but since we do selectively value lives in this county, they do not care.

Edidong Akpan said, “I think we run a confused government in the country. Every day, the NCDC announces increasing figures, but they do not advise the government to shut down schools. They are the disease control centre body, but they rather decided to endanger the lives of our kids. May God help protect our loved ones.

Hillary Thomas said, “ I didn’t send my kids to schools. With the rise in COVID-19 cases, I’m worried there’ll be many kids without symptoms back in classrooms. We’ll see how this week goes.”

But speaking in support of the reopening, Ojibwa Ojone said “I am not against school resumption because teachers need to earn salaries. Especially private school teachers who have gone months without tangible or no salary. I think the government should strictly enforce the use of face mask, proper hygiene and other protocols to keep the session going. Nigeria doesn’t have the capacity to run schools online.”

Below are some comment gathered from Nigerians on social media:

@gbemy01, “Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children? They want to balance record?”

@Stabdulraheem, “The execrable actions of govts are enough to make skeptics doubt the existence of COVID-19. The NIN/NIMC exercise, the resumption of schools, inane political activities, etc, for examples. And the country has a weak, collapsing, over-burdened health structure. Most facilities lack.”

@Umaruabu, “If WAEC , NECO, NABTEB were conducted during the peak of the VIRUS-corona. Plus school resumption in October, and there was no upsurge reports by NCDC…The school is safe to reopen but strict COVID-19 adherence should be applicable.”

@Kesslim, “Honestly, I’am not comfortable with the resumption, kids can’t really protect themselves enough.”

@Fagbohun_A, “Yess”, there is a need for schools to resume because of the effect on the academic calendar. People keep complaining about school resumption. Go and take a look at our overcrowded markets without safety precaution. Take a look at our Shopping Malls and Cinemas. In the past few months of Lockdown and strikes, I can tell you that some students have engaged in fraud, drug abuse, pilfering due to idleness.”

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