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Parents, teachers express doubt, safety concerns over schools resumption

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key sectors of the economy recover gradually amidst the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, it is not yet a green light as schools prepare to resume following the Federal Government’s easing of restrictions. Some parents, teachers and students express their minds to The Guardian on the development.

Schools not safe for the resumption
Mrs. Bolanle Dada, a parent, said: “If the number of confirmed cases keeps increasing daily as recorded by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), why should I allow my kids to resume school? Is the government ready to provide all necessities for our children to keep them safe from the pandemic or the burden would be shifted to school owners? Examinations and promotion to the next class can wait until the virus has been successfully combated.”

Children would be put at great risk
Ayo Joseph, another parent, said: “Children will always be children. No matter the precautionary measures put in place in the schools to prevent them from contracting the virus, it cannot be relied on. Even we adults, we are already tired of wearing nose masks and carrying on as if the pandemic has ended, how much more kids who would throw all caution to the winds after a few days of compliance in school where they are sure to meet, mingle and play with other kids. I will rather advise the government to keep up with online teaching, while the children stay at home and learn with tests and examination if possible. Even when they are given assignments, we still put them through.”

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We have stayed too long at home
Damilola Abiodun, a student, however, said: “I can’t explain how much I miss going to school to study. I am excited the government has lifted the ban because we have really stayed too long at home. I want the government to reduce the number of students in classes and provide more COVID-19 materials for our safety. We students should be able to practice social distancing within ourselves.”

Schools should be reopened like markets, airports
Gbenga Philips, the teacher, said: “I think it is time parents allowed their kids to return back to school to start from where we stopped. We will take some preventive measures too as we value our lives as well. Schools should be given some guidelines on how to keep our students safe from this virus the same way other sectors of the economy and markets have been reopened for business.”

It is dangerous to leave kids idle for too long
Mrs. Michelle Bello, the teacher, equally said: “I expect that whether we reach the peak of the coronavirus or not, by September, we want all students to resume learning as the beginning of a new academic session. That should give all stakeholders – the government, school owners, teachers and parents – enough time to prepare for resumption.

“Schools can’t remain shut in perpetuity. The majority of the children have forgotten most of what they have been taught in their present class and some parents do not even have the capacity, time and gadgets to carry on with home/online learning. Leaving young minds to roam and idle away their time is dangerous as parents would not always be around to oversee their activities. They can easily join bad gangs, get involved in crime and as they say, there being idle may become a tool for the devil’s workshop.”

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