Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has charged the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to ensure that all public and private schools across the country are fumigated before they are re-open.
The chairman, House Committee on Basic Education, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, in a letter to the Education Minister, and made available to journalists, on Sunday also urged him to mandate the management of public and private schools nationwide to sensitise their students on the dangers of COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves from being infected.
Ihonvbere stressed the need for an urgent review of the school curriculum in line with current challenges, so as to strengthen sections of Science, Health Science and Social Studies subjects to incorporate good knowledge of infectious diseases.
“We want to further direct the management of Schools to make provision for water/borehole with a view to promoting washing of hands and personal hygiene among the pupils. Clear instruction should be issued to schools to avoid all contact sports till further notice. For the time being all social/extra curricular events should be suspended. T
should include excursions, birthday celebrations
“Disinfection of shoes and feet should be strongly encouraged for each classroom as done in poultry pens with appropriate non- corrosive solution. Emphasis should be placed on the minimum number of pupils/students in a class in strict adherence to social distancing procedure/ prescriptions, procurement of Infrared Thermometers, face masks and hand sanitizers for pupils and teachers use before entering school,” he stated.
The lawmaker added :The pandemic has further exposed the need for relevant new technology in our school system. In view of the fact that the general school system will be greatly impacted henceforth, our Committee hopes that the Ministry will be in the forefront of developing teaching applications that will contain all subjects offered by pupils/students with a view to promoting online learning.
“Special efforts should be made through existing structures to monitor full compliance with school reopening protocols and produce bi – weekly report on those in charge should be required to produce on challenges and best practices.
“The Committee wishes to commend you on the introduction of online teaching which has impacted positively on the learning during the lockdown. However, the students in the rural areas were left out due to lack of electricity and internet facilities.
“It is our expectation that a special program would be put in place to expose students in under- served areas to what they missed in the online classes. It is our hope that the points highlighted above will be incorporated into your policy formulation for re-opening of schools.”