-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Albert OGRAKA:
The Delta State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has said it is ready to move on with the resumption of Senior Secondary schools in the state, in strict adherence to the Federal Government guidelines on COVID19 protocols.
The Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, on Monday, August 03, 2020 in Asaba while briefing journalists stated that the State Government has put adequate preparatory measures in place for the resumption of 29,525 students sitting for the West African School Certificate Examination (WASSC) in the state.
The Commissioner disclosed to newsmen that the necessary COVID-19 preventive equipment have been distributed to virtually all 466 public secondary schools in the state, which are also essentially registered examination centres.
Chief Ukah stated that apart from providing all the necessary protocol materials in schools in the state, the usual morning assembly and prayers will no longer be holding, instead, prayers will now hold in each class.
Meanwhile, medical records forms are being distributed to students to ascertain their health condition and to make the government know those with underlining ailments so that proper arrangements can be made for such students.
Chief Ukah, who said that maximum of 20 students would sit in each class, in tandem with the COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines, highlighted the critical measures put in place to include the fumigation of schools in the state by Ministry of Environment, provision of infrared termometers, soap, hand sanitizers, even as he noted that hand towels and face masks would be distributed to each student and teacher in the state.
He further said that water storage tanks had been made available in schools for the supply of water, adding that sickbays had equally been provided where health officials would use for handling the treatment of any ailments, just as he emphasized that whenever there was any signs of COVID-19 ailment in any class, all the students in the class would be quarantined for immediate attention.
He said that school hostels have also been arranged in such a way that appropriate physical distance is maintained by boarding students, adding that students are expected to be in the school premises only when necessary.
“Predominantly, our students are day students but for those who are in the boarding houses, instead of the two metres distancing, it should be four metres apart and if one person is on the bunk, nobody will be under. You will agree with me that it is the same thing as isolating them because we will know exactly what is happening to those in the boarding houses.
‘But for the day students, they are kept in a classroom of 20 students. If we have any incidence, it’s easy to lock down that particular classroom. At the same time the medical records that we are taking will make us know those with underlining ailments so that the ministry of health will make special arrangements for such students.”
Chief Ukah particularly noted that teachers and students would undergo temperature check on daily basis, adding that one student and a teacher would serve as minders.
He mentioned that a toll free line have been given to all the schools and a quick response centre established in all 25 local government areas of the state to handle emergency cases, if any, from the 466 public secondary schools across the state
While commending Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, for his continued support to the ministry, especially towards ensuring that all the requirements for COVID-19 protocols were provided in the schools, the Basic and Secondary Education Commissioner said that a 5-man committee comprising officials of his ministry and that of Ministry of Health have been put in place to monitor activities in the schools.
He reiterated that a total of 5,697 teachers in both public and private schools were trained recently by the State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education on COVID-19 protocols, saying that other teachers have been trained by them on curtailing measures of COVID-19 protocols in the schools.