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Population in Cross River primary schools drops due to COVID-19, #EndSARS

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
15 December 2020   |   3:50 am
Population of primary school pupils in Cross River State has dropped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protests as most schools operate without safety protocols.

The population of primary school pupils in Cross River State has dropped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and #EndSARS protests as most schools operate without safety protocols.

The Guardian observed that most schools opened in October, but they did not resume with their normal population before COVID-19 and in some cases. As schools resumed in August, Commissioner for Health and Chairman, COVID-19 Response Team, Dr. Beta Edu, promised that they would be provided with automatic disinfected pass and that her team would work with school heads on Infection Prevention Control (IPC) protocols.

In a recent field visit following a virtual meeting with journalists titled: “COVID-19: Education In The Recovery Process, The Role Of The Media,” organised by UNICEF, it was discovered that most of the primary schools operate without physical distancing, while most of the children failed to wear face mask.

But hand washing buckets and soaps were available at Jehovah Shalom African Primary School, Akpabuyo, Government Primary School, Ikot Offiong Ambai and PCN Primary School, Ikot Nakanda, among others.

Head Teacher of Jehovah Shalom African Primary School, Mrs. Oqua Edet, said: “Since we resumed, we have not received any assistance for COVID-19. Everything here was provided through our personal and community effort .We provided the hand washing equipment, disinfectant, sanitisers and liquid soap, but we also ensure that the children wear their face masks.”

Also, Head Teacher of St. Peters Primary School, Akpabuyo, Mrs. Mary Asuquo Etim, decried the drop in school population saying: “COVID-19 has affected the population of our children as many children no longer come to school. We used to have about 1000 pupils, but they are not up to 400 now due to the virus and #EndSARS protests.”

“We have been using face mask and observing other COVID-19 protocols since we resumed, although the state government trained us on that, but we were not giving personal protective equipment (PPEs). Everything was provided through our internal efforts.”

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