Several schools in Nigeria resumed on Tuesday to enable pupils to write the Senior School Certificate Examination, report KOFO BELO-OSAGIE, OGOCHUKWU ANIOKE, SIMON UTEBOR, MOSES EMORINKEN, NWANOSIKE ONU, CHRIS OJI, TOBA ADEDEJI, JUSTINA ASISHANA, TONY AKOWE, NSA GILL, ELO EDREMODA, JOEL DUKU, CHRIS NJOKU AND ERNEST NWOKOLO.
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) on Tuesday released the official time table for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) starting August 17 and ending September 12.
The time table’s release coincided with the resumption of schools across the country.
A statement by WAEC’s Head of Public Affairs, Demianus Ojijeogu, warned candidates against using wrong time tables in circulation.
The statement reads: “The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Nigeria wishes to inform its stakeholders-schools, parents and candidate-that the Final International Timetable for the conduct of WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020 has been released.
“The Council notes that several versions of the examination timetable have been in circulation and enjoins the general public to disregard them as they did not emanate from it.
“The examination which has been slated to begin on Monday, August 17, 2020, will end on Saturday, September 12, 2020. The Council hereby urges the candidates to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the examination by shunning all acts of malpractice and obeying all Covid-19 protocols that have been put in place at the examination centres.”
Ogun schools comply with COVID-19 protocols as students resume
Private and public secondary schools in Ogun on Tuesday reopened for students in the exit class in compliance with the directive of the state government.
Various schools in the state had resorted to the online method of teaching to ensure that their students continued to learn.
The schools had hand washing buckets and sanitisers at their entrances, corridors and other strategic points in the premises.
Health officials were also on ground at the gates of the schools to take the temperature of students, teachers and visitors before allowing them into the premises.
The students, who wore face masks, also maintained social distancing in the sitting arrangement.
The Principal of Gateway Secondary School at Ita-Iyalode, Adebayo Ojo, in an interview with NAN said the school recorded about 90 per cent attendance on the first day of resumption.
“Out of a total number of 148 students in our SS3 classes, no fewer than 97 of them representing about 90 per cent, resumed for classes today,” he said.
He gave an assurance that adequate safety measures had been provided for the students within the school premises.
“We have extended the classes by making use of the ones in the Junior Secondary School and this has enabled us to limit the number of students in each class to 15 to enable us to observe social distancing of at least two metres.
“If the temperature of any of the students rises above the normal, such student would be taken to the sickbay,” he said.
The Proprietor of Paragon Secondary School at the Oke-Aregba area, Mr Lawrence Holumide, told NAN that the school had arranged regular health talks for the students in addition to other safety measures that were put in place.
Holumide, who is the National President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), added that the school had reduced the number of students in each of the rooms in its hostels from eight to four in observance of social distancing.
At the Gateway Senior Secondary School at Ita-Iyalode, soap and buckets filled with water for handwashing as well as hand sanitizers were also stationed at the school entrance.
A teacher with an infrared thermometer was measuring the pupils’ temperature before allowing them into the school compound.
The Principal of Gateway Senior Secondary School, Mr. Adedayo Afolabi, said the school had set up a standard sickbay with qualified nurses to attend to anyone, student or teacher who displayed suspicious symptoms.
Adedayo said that students were distributed in batches of 15 to each of the classrooms, while buckets of water, soap and sanitisers were also placed at accessible locations at the gate and corridors to allow for seamless hand washing.
“As at this morning as you can see, 97 out of 110 students, representing 90 per cent of the expected total students registered for the WAEC/SSC examination turned up and registered for the resumption today. This was made possible because of the unbroken channel of communication established immediately the pandemic broke out.
“Peradventure, any student’s body temperature shoots above the recommended gauge, such will be referred to the health officials at our sickbay where we also have an isolation centre within the school here. And if need be, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) officials will be notified for appropriate action is such is suspected to be of COVID-19,” he said.
Public schools open in Ebonyi, private schools remain shut
Public schools in Ebonyi State resumed on Tuesday. Private schools were, however, closed.
A statement by the Commissioner for Education, Onyebuchi Chima yesterday morning, also directed the schools to open.
“I have the directives of the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Nweze Umahi to inform all parents, teachers, and students that with effect from today the 4th day of August 2020, JS3 and SS3 exit classes only resumes in Ebonyi State,” he said.
The Principal of one of the private schools said they did not get any directive from the state government to resume schools today.
“The teachers and students only came because they heard the federal government’s announcement that schools should resume today.
“We learnt the governor will be meeting with stakeholders today to discuss the issue after which they will communicate us on when to start,” he said.
The Chairman of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Elder Kingsley Igboke, said private schools did not open because the state government had not given them the go-ahead.
“We have not opened because we are waiting for government directives. Tye Commissioner for Education told me last night that there will be a briefing by the government before the schools re-opens,” Igboke said.
Bayelsa schools ready, safe to reopen, says Diri
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri on Tuesday said the state has put safety measures in place to check the spread of the Covid-19 preparatory to resumption of final year students today.
Diri spoke on Tuesday in Yenagoa, the state capital, at the ‘Safe School Reopening Train-the-Trainers’ programme.
He said the government had provided 10,000 face masks, temperature scanners, soap and water for all public and private schools in the state.
The governor inaugurated a 10-member Safe Schools Reopening Committee headed by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Peter Akpe, to monitor the implementation of the COVID-19 safety protocols across the state.
Diri urged the committee to monitor and ensure compliance with the safety protocols to make sure the state maintain its lowest infection rate of 339 among the comity of neighbouring states in the region.
Schools comply with resumption guidelines in FCT
Schools in the Nyanya, Jikwoyi and Kurudu precincts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday complied with the Federal Government guidelines on the safe reopening of schools for exiting classes.
Students and teachers alike were seen wearing either only the face mask or a combination of the face mask with a face shield.
Also, schools had handwashing apparatus outside the school and enforced hand washing before students were allowed into the school premises.
A few schools, in addition to students and teachers washing their hands and wearing face masks, also introduced a spray disinfectant as people came into the classes.
Students resume in Anambra
Secondary school students in Anambra State resumed on Tuesday.
Students were seen discussing in groups in some of the schools visited.
The Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof Kate Omenugha, said the schools would be closely monitored by a task force.
A teacher, Mrs Grace Enemuo, told our reporter that they were prepared for lectures as the examinations would start August 17.
She said what they would do was revision for the students to prepare them adequately for the exams, adding that COVID -19 was a killjoy.
Students in exit classes in public secondary schools in Nsukka, Enugu State were yet to resume classes as only teachers were present in schools visited.
Some of the secondary schools visited by NAN included Urban Girls Secondary School, Nsukka, Urban Boys Secondary School Nsukka, St Catherine Comprehensive Secondary School and Ejiofor Secondary School.
At Ejiofor Secondary School, Nsukka, a private school, the Principal Mr Casmir Ozioko, said students of the school would resume August 10 as staff of the school would use this week to put all necessary arrangements in place.
“Only teachers resume today, we will use this week to fumigate the compound, clear grasses as well as put all Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) required protocols in place before allowing exit class students to come back next week,” he said.
However, the story was different at St Catherine Comprehensive Secondary School Nsukka owned by Nsukka Catholic Diocese where students have resumed.
In other parts of the state, students and teachers have resumed.
Fumigation in Osun ahead partial re-opening
Ahead of school reopening and line with the directive of the Federal Government on the partial re-opening of schools, the Osun State government will commence the fumigation of 188 registered public and private schools in the State.
When the Nation visited some schools in the Osogbo and Okini, there were no activities. Among the schools visited are Okini Grammar School, Fakunle Unity Middle and High School, Baptist Girls High School, Odi-Olowo, St. James Middle School, Ayetoro, Adenle Middle School, Ataoja High School and Osogbo Grammar School.
Niger schools may resume August 10
There are indications that schools in Niger State may not re-open until August 10. Public and private schools in Chanchaga, Bosso and Wushishi have been fumigated while schools in other local government areas will be done before the end of the week, a source from the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NSEPA) disclosed to The Nation.
“Even if the Committee has submitted its report, the Commissioner will have to meet and brief the governor before taking any decision,” a source said.
Schools in Cross River enforce Covid-19 guidelines
Secondary schools in Cross River State on Tuesday resumed in line with the directive of the Federal Government.
Students, who have been waiting to sit for the West African Secondary School Examinations (WASSE) and the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) reported to schools wearing their uniforms, while others were clad in mufti.
In all the schools visited, the various managements had taken the necessary steps to enforce the prevention guidelines on COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring the provision of running water with a wash hand basin by the school entrance. They were also school officials with thermometer units to take the temperature of every child coming to the school.
Low turnout in Delta
Schools reopened in Delta State, but there was a low turnout of students.
Exiting students at the College of Commerce, Warri, had to embark on rigorous cleaning of the eight classrooms earmarked for the examinations.
This, according to a student, Elohor Orhiunu, “took most of the morning’s activities. We were asked to wash our hands at the gate and our temperatures were checked before going into the classrooms. We were asked to wash the classrooms”.
Another student, Martha Ogbu said, “I resumed at 9 am. We washed the classrooms with soap and water and the desks too. You can see the towels there”.
The media aide to the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Samuel Ijeh, told Nation via telephone that “they sent money to the principals to do the disinfection and to buy tanks, some of them to even buy generators to power the systems in schools that have boreholes. They sent the principals money to do all these clearings and fumigations.”
Borno/Yobe set date for resumption
The governments of Borno and Yobe states have fumigated schools ahead of resumption.
Borno State Education Commissioner Bello Ayuba said all boarding schools in Borno would resume on Sunday and academic activities would commence on August 10.
Ayuba also disclosed that the state has embarked on one-week fumigation and clearing of bushes across the schools.
Yobe State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education Dr Mohamed Sani Idris said the state government was putting finishing touches before the resumption of schools in the state.
Dr Sani said: “We want to ensure a safe environment for our children and the teachers before they resume. His Excellency our Governor, Mai mala Buni has directed that we must abide by the directives of the Federal government. We will soon open the schools after all the needful are done but it won’t take time at all.”
The Yobe State Primary Health Management Board donated 100 contactless hand-washing machines to be distributed to schools across the state ahead of the resumption.
The Executive Secretary of the Board, Dr Kundi Machine who presented the machines to the Commissioner of Basic and Secondary Education said the machines would help check the spread of the virus across the schools.
Low turnout in Imo schools
Several public and private schools resumed on Tuesday in Imo State without adequate Covid-19 protocols.
In some public schools, apart from grappling with dilapidated structures and overgrown grasses, the authorities only provided few buckets of water without hand sanitiser.
At the Nekede Secondary School in Owerri West, few students were seen milling around the premises without facemasks.
At the Comprehensive High School, Owerri, the students were scanty in the class while some of their teachers discussed under a tree in the school premises.
The principal, Nelson Oparaugo, said the low turnout was as a result of lack of awareness but believed that activities would pick up later in the week.
However, the situation was different at The Bethel Seminary School, Umudibia as the students who resumed school were screened at the gate with the thermometer.
The Rector, Okechukwu Amadi, said: “We have complied with the provision of medical facilities like the thermometers, disinfectants and sanitisers placed at the gate. We also paid N800,000 to fumigate the whole compound in anticipation for resumption.”