State Governments in parts of the North-Central and Taraba are taking measures to ensure compliance with safety protocols against COVID-19 by students and pupils as they resume lessons after the summer holidays.
An investigation conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) revealed that the governments have issued directives to managements of the schools to ensure that the students wear face masks and wash their hands before entering the schools’ premises.
The measures also make the students to maintain social distancing in classrooms during lessons.
The Plateau Government on its part directed managements of both public and private schools in the state to ensure compliance with the safety protocols by their respective students.
The state Commissioner for Secondary Education,Mrs Elizabeth Wapmuk, warned that any of the schools’ management whom refused to adhere to the directives would face sanctions.
Wapmuk said the measures were employed to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
“As a government, we have put the necessary measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.
“We have directed schools to adhere to all safety protocols put in place by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“Any school on Plateau, whether public or private must adhere to this directive or risk sanctions,”she said.
Our Correspondent who visited some schools in Jos observed that hand washing facilities were provided by the schools’ authorities,while students and teachers were wearing face masks and keeping social distancing in the classrooms.
NAN also observed that security personnel at the gates were denying anyone found not wearing face masks,access to the schools’ premises.
Some of the schools visited are: the Jos campus of the Plateau State Polytechnic, the primary and secondary section of the Obasanjo Model School Hwolshe, Wisdom International School, Rayfield, St Murumba’s College Jos and the Government Secondary School,Giring,among others.
Mrs Beatrice Hoomyen, Principal of Government Secondary School, Giring, told NAN that teachers, students and other visitors coming into the school were being checked for temperature and were also washing their hands at the gate.
“We have provided water, soap and hand sanitisers at the gate to enable those coming into the school compound to wash their hands and sanitise themselves properly.
“Also, we have provided a thermometer at the gate to check the temperature of people coming into the school as directed.
“As you can see, all the students are putting on their face masks and we ensure that the students’ sitting arrangement is in line with the social distancing directive,” she said.
Similarly, the Taraba state Commissioner of Basic and Higher Education, Mr Johannes Jigem, said that the state government through the special task force on COVID-19, had supplied the necessary materials to all schools in the state to ensure compliance with all the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Jigem said that special committees and monitors had also been put in place to visit schools and ensure strict compliance with the measures.
Our correspondent who visited some of the schools in Jalingo, found that both teachers and students were wearing the face masks, while designated staff were applying hand sanitizers on each at the entrance.
Special water containers and soap were also placed at entry points into classrooms and offices.
The schools visited included Government Day Secondary School (GDSS) Kufai, Nukkai Primary school and Mafindi Primary and Secondary School.
Equally,the Nasarawa State Government said it had provided protective equipment to public schools across the state ahead of resumption on October 4, to contain further spread of the coronavirus disease.
Mohammed Bala, Permanent Secretary (PS), Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, who disclosed this, said the state government had through the ministry, supplied the safety protocols with a view to strengthening the fight against the virus.
“We have put machinery on ground to ensure maximum compliance with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols especially in public schools,” Bala said.
He also said that proprietors of private schools had been directed to sustain the safety measures already put in place, and that the government would set up a machinery to ensure compliance.
He also said that all returning students would undergo temperature checks and other protocols, before being allowed into their respective schools.
“Officials from the ministry will embark on monitoring visits to ensure adherence to the protocols,” she stated.
The permanent secretary urged parents to provide face masks for their children, as they would not be allowed into their respective schools’ premises, without it.
”What we are mostly concerned with, is firstly, the safety of the students and staff.
”The schools were fumigated, safety equipments such as hand sanitisers, face masks were provided.
”We would also sustain physical distancing and regular hand washing,” he said.(NAN)