BY Punch Correspondents
States were on Sunday divided over the Federal Government’s directive that the Senior Secondary School 3 pupils should resume on Tuesday in preparation for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations starting on August 17.
Findings show that SSS3 pupils in Lagos, Benue, Kwara and Ogun states are preparing for resumption on Tuesday, while WASSCE candidates would resume in Cross River State on Monday (today).
Enugu, Gombe and Rivers states have yet to announce the resumption dates for their pupils, unlike Ekiti State, where pupils will resume on August 10.
The investigation however, showed that many state governments had yet to provide running water, hand-washing points and other non-pharmaceutical materials stipulated in the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 guidelines for resumption of schools.
Recall that the Federal Government had on Monday said SSS3 pupils would resume on Tuesday. The Minister of State (Education), Emeka Nwajiuba, however, explained that only COVID-19 protocol compliant schools would resume.
According to him, schools must provide running water and hand-washing points sanitisers.
On Sunday, our correspondents observed that many state governments had not met all the PTF guidelines.
In Benue State, the state government has not put in place necessary measures that could prevent the spread of COVID-19 among pupils and teachers on their resumption.
In Gombe State schools, including Orji Secondary, Gombe and Government Science, Lakanje, Kaltugo, there was no provision for hand-washing materials.
The SSS3 pupils in Cross River State are to resume on Monday, August 3. The Special Adviser Education to Governor Ben Ayade, Castro Ezama, said, “They will resume tomorrow to prepare for their exams.”
The Enugu State Commissioner for Education, Prof Uche Eze, said the government would soon announce the date the pupils in exit classes would resume, adding that decontamination of schools commenced last Friday.
In Lagos State, when one of our correspondents visited Anwarul Islam Girls High School, Ojokoro, on Sunday, he noticed that the school did not make provision for hand-washing points within the school or outside the school gate.
The classrooms were also not marked to give room for social distancing among the pupils as of 6pm when the correspondent visited there.
In Ogun State, none of the schools visited had sanitisers and hand-washing points at their the entrances.