Ibidapo Obe, a professor and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, has advised the government to inspect schools to ensure that they comply with the laid down procedures as Nigeria moves to open schools next week after nearly seven months that the government shut them down due to coronavirus pandemic.
“I think the government should provide all the protocols, and the facemasks, washing of hands and so on,” Obe told SaharaReporters. “They should ensure that the children are safe. The idea is that we should minimise that risk, and the function lies with the inspectorate. People should go around and check and inspect schools. I think with that, they can go ahead.
“For children, having stayed at home for more than six months, it is a good idea to let them return to schools.”
Obe said the reduction in the number of infections and the fact that children are less vulnerable to coronavirus are enough reasons for schools to reopen.
“Well, number one, the minister said that the infection gap is crackling and seeing the reduction in the number of infections, so from that point of view, one can say that we are getting used to COVID-19.
“Number two, we are told that in terms of susceptibility, that is to say, who is more susceptible to the disease, the children are better protected. And, I think that is another evidence that probably informed the decision to reopen the schools.”
The government closed the schools in March following a nationwide lockdown to minimise the risks of COVID-19 infections.
The minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, announced last Friday that all the schools nationwide could resume on Monday next week.
Adamu said the decision was made after education stakeholders and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 concluded that the coronavirus infections had been adequately curtailed.
He, however, urged the management of schools to be safety-conscious in their preparation for resumption.
“Be vigilant, strict and rigid in the implementation of COVID-19 protocols for the safety of our children and ourselves as we reopen schools. Nothing should be taken for granted,” Adamu said.
SaharaReporters, New York