Adopt staggered school resumption, VC urges FG

Vice-Chancellor of Chrisland University  Abeokuta, Ogun state, Professor Peace Chinedum Babalola, has advised the federal government to adopt staggered reopening of schools across the country.

Babalola, a Professor of Pharmaceutical Science, spoke at the 5th matriculation ceremony of the institution held virtually in Abeokuta Wednesday.

The federal government had Monday released guidelines outlining actions, measures and requirements needed for the safe reopening of schools in the country.

But the VC, while reacting to the guidelines, said the federal government, in the meantime could reopen schools for final year students at all levels to enable them write their exams while plans are made on how to absorb others.

She said, to achieve social distancing, one of the guidelines of the federal government for reopening of schools, the government needs to stagger resumption of students.

The don expressed the view that, while nobody knows when the COVID-19 pandemic would end, there was need for the gradual resumption of socio-economic activities, including the reopening of schools.

She said:  “This pandemic, we do not understand it fully and we do not know when it will end. We already know that there is a need for social distancing, there is a need for hygiene, wearing face masks and so on. 

“So, to ensure social distancing, we need to stagger resumption of students and we need to reopen schools for students that are in terminal classes, students that will take external examinations. 

“Exams like West African School Certificate (WASC) are actually not just a Nigerian examination, it is a West African examination and they have announced that the exams will start in August, so I believe that while studying and understanding this disease, let us start with the students in the terminal classes in all institutions, from nursery to university.

“At least, the school environment we have can take those finalists, they can occupy the entire school and you will still achieve the social distancing when they space out, they can do it,” Babalola said.

She appealed to the government at all levels to support schools and parents with safety gadgets like face masks, hand sanitisers and thermometers, among others. 

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