The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, says with “the onset of the wet season which comes along with an increase in flu-like diseases”, children run the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 if schools are reopened now.
The centre said with the nation’s weak health system as well as the very low-risk perception of the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening schools now would further spread the coronavirus in the country.
Head, Risk Communication, NCDC, Dr Yahya Disu, said this weekend during a webinar hosted by the Plan International Nigeria’s Country Director, Hussaini Abdu, with the support from the European Union.
The theme of the session was: “Rethinking Education: Perspective and Challenges of Remote and Alternative Learning in COVID-19 Pandemic”.
“The risk perception by the public is still very low and it is because our population structure consists mostly of youths who may have the disease and not have symptoms.
“Re-opening schools will further spread the disease. If there is a good level of compliance, then we could consider school reopening.
“School children are likely not going to comply and it could spread the disease among them as the majority of our pupils go to school in vehicles and the transport sector is known to have a poor record of compliance.” alert-info
Prof. Mabel Evwierhoma of the University of Abuja urged the government to take a cue from some private higher institutions of learning by investing in blended or mixed learning to surmount the COVID-19 pandemic.
She urged the deployment of campus radios to support remote learning in higher institutions.
School or Market?
Can we say this is a state of dilemma, Hmm? No, we can actually run both during this COVID-19 period. School is where we go to learn from qualified teachers while market is a place where we buy essential commodities most especially food. It is almost certain that without food there will be no student, as no one will study on empty stomach.
Firstly, Let’s analyze what Disu said, “school children are likely not going to comply…” My first thought based on that is, does that mean our education system is bad to the extent that guardians/teachers in our schools cannot enforce simple rules on school children or will university students(adults), who know the risks/consequences attached to not abiding by the simple rules, also spread the virus or does that mean the education sector of Nigeria is raising irresponsible future leaders. Absolutely no, I believe we have good and brilliant students in Nigerian schools, although there are exceptions. Furthermore, we should not forget no one is enforcing the COVID-19 rules on the market users, so does that mean the government is exposing a thousand to danger to save a hundred?
Why should Nigerian schools open?
- To prevent failure in future: Let’s take the primary school pupils as a case study. Most of these kids have not been studying for the past five months which is caused by either the kids are staying at home alone or with neighbours, where there is no one to guide the kids on their studies. Meanwhile, it is very important for these kids to continue their learning activities as a good beginning makes a good end. Someone once said,” the rich will continue to be rich…” Yes, that’s the truth, it is very rare to see a dullard in a rich family. Although this is a topic for another day. During this educational hold-up, the affluential parents will employ qualified teachers, for their kids, as home lesson teacher. Which is likely impossible for most of the poor masses.
- To stop corruption: Yes, this is very important. How? Let’s look at the case of the students in the federal secondary schools. It is obvious food for the students is provided by the government, although being paid for by the students, and we have some people in charge of this provision. Do you know the money intended for this provision may not be refunded when these kids finally resumed back to school? I will like not to go further on that.
Why should Nigerian schools remain close?
I don’t see any reason schools should remain close, the only reason schools can remain closed is if our guardians/teachers are not up to the task of enforcing these simple rules.
Let’s hear from you.
Drop your opinions.