Sir: Since the month of March, Nigeria, like the rest of the world, has been in one form of lock down or another. The good news however, is that the world is gradually returning to the new normal i.e. a new way of life.
In the meantime, educators across Nigeria as well as other parts of Africa, and the rest of the world, are asking: “When will schools re-open?” “Are we going to allow our schools run like they use to do.”
In some parts of the world, schools have already resumed, but many are asking if the social distancing arrangement will succeed in a class of 39 or in some cases, a class of 70 to 80 pupils.
Be that as it may, school owners feel the need to open the gates to allow students return. Parents now understand what teachers pass through every day, and are ready to rush their children back to school.
But for schools to re-open, some steps should be taken, so that community spread of the virus, will not destroy more lives, especially those of our children.
All pupils and students should undergo a compulsory Covid-19 test, at least, two weeks before schools resume. Every pupil should be issued a certificate, after testing, and, this should be made available to the school authorities, before the pupil is allowed to resume classes.
The Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) officials, should supervise the compulsory fumigation of public and private school premises, and a Certificate of Inspection issued to the school.
All teachers and non-academic staff, should equally be subjected to appropriate testing and certified ‘fit’ to come to school to handle other people’s children.
There should be a collaboration between the NCDC and the Ministry of Health. This should allow the NCDC keep a record of all the schools that they have verified fit for resumption as well as make same certification, available to the ministry of education, to enable the ministry of education, sanction and or shut down any defaulting school.
All school medical personnel, from the school doctor, to the school nurses and even janitors, working directly at the sick bay, should be given mandatory training on pandemic management, to enable them administer
We need to be pro-active henceforth in handling the education industry in Nigeria. By so doing, we will be able to steadily raise the bar for our teachers and students, as well as continue to aim at our goal of building a 21st Century nation.
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