Mixed reactions trail closure of schools over COVID-19 pandemic
Parents and stakeholders have expressed mixed feelings over the decision of the government to shut down schools as part of measures to contain the outbreak of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.
While some described the move as the best decision to curtail the spread of the dreaded scourge, others called on government and private school operators to put the necessary infrastructure in place to encourage e-learning.
In separate reactions yesterday, a parent, Mrs. Adejoke Layi-Babatunde, legal practitioner, Mr. Smart Olatunji, Publisher, Newsdishng.com, an online publication, Mr. Paul Sanusi and ex-lawmaker who represented Lagos East Federal Constituency, Mr.Lanre Odubote shared diverse views over the decision.
For Layi-Babatunde, the closure is the best way to curtail transmission of the disease especially among children, bearing in mind that the country lacks the necessary facilities to handle the outbreak.
“Before government announced the closure, I had decided to stop my children from going to school at least till the pandemic is over. I think government should have closed borders like two weeks ago but they didn’t so that gave us that unfortunate window. The decision is even belated; it ought to have been done over two weeks ago.”
She dismissed the argument that the decision will affect the school calendar and the education system, saying, “There is no need to worry about the education system. It is only the living that receives education and so this time of closure will not kill anybody but rather it would enable us to save lives. It is better imagined than happened that COVID-19 pandemic breaks out among children in schools. Let them learn how to do house chores and read books if there is no online training. I think the government should also encourage organisations to allow their staff to work from home for now or reduce the hours at work so that parents can monitor their children because leaving children alone all day to secondary care has its own effects.”
But sharing a different position, another parent, who is a lawyer, Olatunji described the closure of schools because of the pandemic as a great set back on the education standard, though it will protect the lives of the students.
Odubote however disagreed with Olatunji, saying, there could be nothing as good as shutting down the schools now to contain the disease.
According to him, “It is not only proper that our government, though acted late, have shut down schools the entire system ought to be shut down immediately for the time being to contain the spread of the disease since it can be contacted through air and other easy means. “
Sanusi who described the move as a right step said, “The purpose is to save our kids from being inflicted with the dreaded disease but what are the measures put in place to redeem the lost day, meaning for the period the schools will be shut? Also, what measures are being put in place to ensure that at the reopening of the schools, the kids and the state as a whole are free from the disease? I am of the opinion that more needs to be done than shutting down the schools.