As academic activities commenced nationwide on Monday, schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs resumed with strict adherence to the Federal Government guidelines on Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondents who monitored the resumption in Abuja, report that some of the schools visited complied with the set guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
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 and also adhered to physical distancing.
The Principal of the school, Mr Joseph Akor, expressed satisfaction 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 facing was the non-availability of water, noting that water was essential in 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 potable water supply 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 to reduce mass gathering.
“The government in its wisdom has tried to make sure things are in place to ensure smooth resumption by fumigating the school.
“We also have also supported this effort by providing 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 so as not to 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 NAN that they were ready to abide by the COVID-19 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 NAN 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 continuously emphasise total compliance with the COVID-19 protocols to the students.
According to him, the government has tried but the schools would need to do more so that 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 the virus.
Mrs Hadiza Abdullahi, a parent, told NAN that until 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 proprietors from increasing school fees, adding that there were so many challenges parents were facing in the New Year.
“Most of the private schools are increasing school fees to make up for the shortfall experienced during the lockdown.
“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.