(Jones Bamidele, NAN)
About 95 per cent of students in the exit classes of the secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), resumed on Tuesday, in preparation for the 2020 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Majority of the teachers and students said they were happy to resume after lockdown, which lasted for about five months, due to the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mrs Essien Enewan-Okon, Principal of Government Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3 in Abuja, said that 90 per cent of students in the school’s exit classes have resumed.
“They are all in their classrooms, very happy and we teachers are equally happy to resume; we thank God and the FCT Administration, who have made it possible for us to resume.
“As a government school, we are fully prepared for resumption because the FCT Secondary Education Board gave us all it takes to resume, starting from hands sanitizer, buckets for handwashing to face masks.
“The entire school premises was fumigated, we washed our classrooms and created the two meters distance required for desk spacing in all our 11 classrooms before resumption,” she said.
The principal also said that the school on resumption began by giving the students orientation on the new normal and how to go about their lives in school and at home.
“We even told them the type of food they should eat and pray to God that they should comply with the protocols,” she said.
A student in the school, Daniel Boluwatife said that she was excited to come back to school because the uncertainty of whether or not Nigerian students would be writing the 2020 WASSCE was very disappointing to her.
Also, Michael Oyegoke said, “I am excited to come back to school because there were a lot of distractions at home than in the school environment”.
On whether the teachers would be able to cover their syllabus within the two weeks preceding the WASSCE, both teachers and students were optimistic.
Mrs Felicial Ogbuegebe, head of sciences department in the school said that before they went on lockdown, there were only two weeks remaining before the WASSCE.
“We had covered our syllabus and we were doing revision before the lockdown came.
“All we need to do now is to revise with the students because staying at home for this long, they must have forgotten one or two things.
“Every safety measure has been put in place before the school resumed; so all the teaching staff are joining our hands together to teach the students, especially the sciences – Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
“All the teachers are now involved in preparing the exit class; this time it is not a time for a teacher to say that he teaches only SS 3 or SS 1 classes.
“Whatever class you teach, we are all involved with the SS 3 class now to make sure that they get whatever they need to get before their exams, ” she said.
An optimistic Nuralhuda Mohammed, a female student told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN): “my expectation for WASSCE is that it will not be hard for me because I have read over and over during the lockdown, so, I am good to go.
“Since my teachers have all covered all their schemes of work and I am not new to the school environment, I have nothing to worry about,” she said.
In another vein, Malam Tamim Yusuf, the chief administrative officer of the Muslim Community Centre, owners of Fau-ad Lababidi Islamic Academy and four other institutions in Abuja, said that, the school was in full compliance with the government directives for resumption.
“In compliance with the directives of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, it is only our SS 3 students that have resumed.
“We decontaminated the entire school premises and an inspection was carried out by the Department of Quality Assurance of the FCT Education Secretariat on the arrangement of classrooms.
“They were satisfied with our compliance, so they issued us a certificate for having satisfied all the requirements.
“Today being the first day of resumption, we organized a general orientation both for students and teachers.
“The orientation is in two phases: a medical doctor came from the National Hospital Abuja to give a talk generally on the COVID-19 protocols and an Imam gave another talk on what the Qura’an says about the pandemic and human responsibility.
“Right from the gate, no one is given access to the school premises until they have washed their hands and had their temperature taken; our classes are compliant in terms of social distancing,” he said.