Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Schools across Benue State have resumed in preparation for the various final examinations.
When Daily Sun visited some of the schools in Makurdi, the state capital, it was observed that staff of all secondary schools visited have resumed while students have also started resuming.
It was also observed that while some of the schools have been fumigated with clean and well cut premises, others were still awaiting fumigation at the time if this report.
Some of the schools visited are Mt. St. Gabriel’s Secondary School, Government Secondary School, Government Model School, Arabic School and Holy Ghost School all in Makurdi.
Speaking to newsmen in his office, Revd. Fr. John Asen, Principal Mt. St. Gabriel’s Secondary School, Makurdi disclosed that out of the 300 students expected for the Junior and Senior secondary examinations, less than 100 had resumed as at Tuesday afternoon.
“We have fumigated the schools and provided hand sanitizers and hand washing equipment in line with the COVID-19 protocol. Our students are being checked in at the gate. Our level of compliance is about 99 percent.
“We are expecting almost 300 students back but the number of students that came back today is not yet up to hundred. They got the notice just last week.
On her part, Mrs. Agnes Lang, Principal of Government College Makurdi disclosed that all 130 staff of the school are back in school but that only two out of 193 students have so far resumed.She added that those two students who have resumed are from SS3 out of 43.
“Out of 193, only two students have resumed. Our school does the exchange program from the 18 northern states apart from Benue. Those who came are indigenous students. We have done our part to comply with the COVID-19 protocol.
Government gave us thermometers and some other equipments like face masks, hand sanitizers. The school is yet to be fumigated but the government is working on that. The school will definitely be fumigated before the students resume. The students that came were taught by two teachers before they left.
Mr. Usuah Godwin, Principal, Government Model School said the school premises was fumigated before the students resumed schools.
“We have fumigated the school. The last fumigation was done last Friday. We are expecting 284 Junior and 205 Senior students. A good number of students have resumed and revision exercise have commenced. We are observing social distancing by ensuring only one student occupies a locker.
“The State government has given us two thermometers but we are expecting hand sanitizers and other things too. The students would have to pay for third term,” Usuah said.
A student of the school who spoke on the condition of anonymity disclosed that all students were asked to bring two facemasks with hand sanitizers.
The JSS 3 student of Government Model School, Makurdi said out of 43 students in his class, only five resumed and were taught on Tuesday.
When contacted, Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mr. Joseph Utse said the state government had put everything in place to ensure a smooth resumption of students back to schools.
Utse who noted that the state governor, Samuel Ortom has the interest of the students at heart said many schools have already been fumigated while those who are yet to do so are expected to fumigate as soon as possible.
He said the responsibility of providing all the COVID-19 facilities lies with the parents, schools and the government stressing that while schools are expected to fumigate their premises as well as provide hand washing equipment, parents are to provide facemasks and hand sanitizers for their wards while the government would provide thermometers.