Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Schools in Edo State have opened for academic activities with a large number of students in attendance after being shut down for seven months due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
A visit to some of the schools in the city centre indicated that learning is picking up in earnest.
Speaking to Daily Sun in Benin, Principal, Western Boys High School, Benin, Elder Ebiuwa Vincent Odeh, said the State Government has done all that it needed to do in ensuring that the school environment is safe for learning.
‘We are very much prepared. I think at this juncture, we want to allay the fear of parents in respect of this COVID19 because before now, Edo State Government made the arrangements for the training of both the teachers and the principal in preparation for this resumption. Following the NCDC guidelines.
‘One of the measures put in place against this COVID19 is the segmentation of the school system. The school system is in two streams now.
‘You have the afternoon session and the morning session. The morning session will run from 8 am to 11 am and the afternoon session will run from 12 pm to 3 pm
‘The morning session is mainly for the junior students while the afternoon is for the senior students.
‘We are making adequate spacing arrangement too. One of the reasons the school has been segmented is to enable us to have enough space for social distancing.
‘In the morning, the junior students will occupy all the spaces in the compound while those in the afternoon session will also occupy the entire spaces… The issue of social distancing has been taken care of by this segmentation.
‘We are having all the other materials in place, that is the washing station and all that. So, parents should not attain any fear at all. We are very sure that the issue of COVID19 has adequately been taken care of by the government of the day and schools are adhering to the NCDC protocols,’ he said.
The principal who also doubles as the President All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, (ANCONPSS), Edo state chapter, said parents should not be afraid to send their wards to school noting that the teachers are on ground to ensure that the students comply fully to the COVID19 guidelines as prescribed by the NCDC.
Expressing joy over the resumption of school, one of the students, Aneke Joseph, said he thanked God for the reopening of schools after a long stay at home.
‘I am very happy being in school today. I thanked God and I pray that the Coronavirus should leave in Jesus name. I was very tired of staying at home but while I was at home, I tried also to read my books.
‘Now that I have resumed, there will be no more hugging, no more handshaking and I will always wear my facemask, use my hand sanitizer,’ he said.