Some stakeholders in the education sector have commended the efforts of the Oyo State government in ensuring safe environment for reopening schools for graduating classes in the state.
They gave their commendations in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Friday.
NAN recalled that primary six pupils, JSS III and SSS III students resumed revision classes towards their examinations on July 6.
Mr Kayode Adeyemi, the President National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) Oyo State, said that it had been a very good development from all the reports available to the union.
“Everybody complied with the COVID-19 safety protocols and there has not been any issue whatsoever concerning the safety of the children.
“From the record of the inspection team in Oyo State it is obvious that reopening of schools has not added to the infection rate and there has not been any report so far on it.
“The students and teachers are happy to be back in school and everybody is on their beat awaiting all the exams and we trust God that the remaining arms will be opened soon,” Adeyemi said.
Also, Mr Tojuade Adedoyin, the state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) said that teachers were gradually adjusting to the situation.
“The various headmasters and principals have provided all the necessary materials and our students and pupils are happy to be back in school.
“To a certain extent we are happy with the government’s provision, though there is room for improvement,” he said
Adedoyin said that the union was liaising with the government on all other areas it thinks that the government should come in and improve.
“There are some schools where they don’t have the thermometer to measure the temperature of students and staff.
“So if the government can provide the thermometers or the running grants for the second term; the school managers will have the funds to fall back on to buy whatever they need for the running of the school,” he noted.
Prof. Clement Kolawole, the Chairman, School Governing Board of Estate High School, Bashorun, said that the system was stabilising and overcoming initial challenges.
“I found that the government took a good decision to reopen school for the category of those who have resumed now, although teachers are working harder and are making sacrifices to see that the reopening works, they deserve to be commended for their dedication,” Kolawole said.
Prof. Adams Onuka, an education evaluation expert, said that the government had done the needful by asking the graduating class to resume revision classes.
“To me, it’s a well-thought decision by the various governments; national and sub-national, it’s good that for a start, it has been restricted to the graduating classes,” he said.
Onuka said the decision would definitely boost students’ morale and lower their anxiety which could adversely affect those with high anxiety quotient and ultimately their performance.
He, however, urged parents and their wards to ensure that they do everything that can assure their safety of their children and protect them from contracting the pandemic or prevent them from spreading them.
“Parents and students must demonstrate the God-fearing spirit and have the interest of others at heart; that way nobody will become an agent of spreading the sickness,” Onuka said.
Prof. Oyesoji Aremu of the Department Guidance and Counselling, University of Ibadan, also said that school resumption of transition classes amid spikes of COVID-19 looks somehow scary.
“Nevertheless, management of classes and health of students and teachers are very important.
“While students may not be too much at risk, the teachers may not be too lucky if adequate provisions are not made by the government and leadership of the schools.
“While private schools may not be too much affected at least the standard ones among them, the same may not be said about some public schools begging for infrastructural attention long before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic,” Aremu said.
He said the situation was a wake-up call for government and schools’ proprietors and other stakeholders to, as a matter of importance and urgency, give hygiene a place it deserves in teaching and learning.
Aremu said the success or otherwise of school opening would determine whether or not other students and pupils would resume schooling on time.
“It means, COVID-19 protocols must be well entrenched in the course of teaching and learning, government officials and other stakeholders would therefore ensure strict compliance,” he said.