Oyo state government Wednesday directed the primary 6, JSS3 and SSS3 students across the state to wear masks while resuming school Monday to prevent spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, dropped the hint while responding to questions from journalists in his office in Ibadan.
Olaleye said various trainings have been given to categories of school heads, principals and teachers on how to monitor and report any sign of illness that showed symptoms of COVID-19 to the authority.
“Students are to come to school with their facemasks and follow instructions on the guidelines from the management. These are imperative as the government cannot lock down forever and education is an aspect of life that should not be allowed to suffer backwardness,” he said.
The commissioner stated that the government has set up Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) in Ibadan and at zonal levels and as well as appointed incident managers for each school that will report any emergency directly to the EOCs through special communication lines.
Emphasising that each class would have “a warder whose obligation is to relate with the incident managers on his or her observations,” the commissioner stated that among the measures already put in place by the Oyo state government” is the compulsory hand-washing points at the school entrances and at the entrance of each classroom as well as alcohol-based sanitiser for the use of students and teachers.”
“Throughout last week, what we have been doing was to train school heads and teachers of public and private schools, preparing them for this task of taking firm control of preventing the spread of COVID-19 into our schools as we resume. Each school has been mandated to strictly enforce social distancing and observe other protocols against Covid-19 among teachers and students as laid down by NCDC.
“I can boldly tell you that with these measures in place, the children are safer with us in school than even many homes. Imagine situations whereby students are asked to go to private lessons that provided no safety measure and many follow their parents to the market and workplaces where possibility of contracting the virus is high. So, they are better kept at school than at home.”
Olasunkanmi said the fear being exercised by the general public over the resumption was appreciated by the government, as it helped the administration to still go deeply into keeping to stringent measures to avert spread of the virus.