As academic activities commenced nationwide on Monday, schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and environs resumed with strict adherence to the Federal Government guidelines on Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols.
Newsmen who monitored the resumption in Abuja, report that the schools visited complied with the set guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Government Senior Secondary School (GSS) Tudun Wada, FCT, hand sanitizers, water and soap were placed at the entrance of the school for the use of the students.
Students and teachers were also seen observing the guidelines by wearing their face masks.
The Principal of the school, Mr Joseph Akor, expressed pleasure with the level of compliance among the students.
Akor said that there was little to be done as the students were already aware of the dangers of not complying with the guidelines.
He, however, said that the challenge the school was presently faced with was the absence of water, noting that water was essential to preventing the virus.
“We will like to commend the government and also an NGO named Power Forward for providing us with hand sanitizers and face masks.
“Though the hand sanitizers did not go round the students, what we did was to give the sanitizers to each class prefect, who will then ensure that all students get to use before entering into the classrooms.
“The major challenge we have is lack of water resulting from the dry season. We want the government to assist us through the water board to get water to the school.”
Akor was, however, grateful to God that since the advent of the pandemic, the school had not recorded any case of the virus.
Also, Mrs Ebunoluwa Adebayo, Head Teacher, Local Education Authority (LEA) School, Aleyita, commended the Federal Government for the decision taken on school resumption.
Adebayo added that the decision had ignited the hopes of the students, teachers and parents.
She said that the school on its part had also taken proactive measures to curb the spread of the virus by replacing school assembly with class assembly.
“The government in its own way has tried to make sure things are in place to ensure resumption by school fumigation. We also have hand sanitisers, liquid soap and buckets in various classrooms.
“The students came in their large number and we have an instruction that there should be no assembly to observe social distancing and not spread the virus,” she said.
She, however, pleaded with the government to support the school with the provision of mattresses in the case of quick response in isolating any students seen exhibiting the symptoms of the COVID-19.
Gift Salihu and Destiny Ejoga, LEA Aleyita pupils told Newsmen that they were ready to abide by the Federal Government’s guidelines to keep safe at all times to avoid spreading the virus.
Similarly, Mr Michael Edoh, Principal, Junior Secondary School (JSS), Kurudu, Abuja, said that all was set to kick start academic activities in the school.
Edoh told Newsmen that the school was currently undergoing fumigation and cleaning of desks and shelves while also engaging students in the clearing of the environment.
He stressed the need to re-emphasize continuously to the students on total compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
According to him, the government has tried but we need more so that our safety will be guaranteed.
Also, Winner Daniel and Favour Olise, students of JSS Kurudu thanked the Federal Government for the decision in opening the schools while pledging to observe the guidelines laid down to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Head Teacher of a private school in Lokogoma, who preferred anonymity, said that most of the parents did not allow their children to resume due to the fear that they might contract Covid-19.
Mrs Hadiza Abdullahi, a parent, told Newsmen that until when she was sure that the schools were safe enough before she could allow her three children to return to school.
Mr Ademilekan Oloyede, also a parent urged the government to caution schools from increasing the pupils’ tuitions.
“Most of the private schools are increasing the pupils’ school fees to make up for the ones that did not resume to school.
“It is not our fault as parents, things are hard everywhere, if the private schools are not cautioned, I’m afraid, there is going to be more out-of-school children on our streets,” he said