Some experts on Wednesday warned the Oyo State Government to tread with caution on the reopening of schools for academic activities.
The News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN) Reports That The State Government Had Outlined Plans For Reopening Of Schools From June 29 In Spite Of Rising Cases Of COVID-19.
But Prof. Clement Kolawole of the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, said there was need for caution in the face of the concerns over rising COVID-19 cases.
Kolawole, also the Chairman of the School Governing Board of Estate High School, Bashorun, Ibadan, said government with the information available to it might review its decision before the due date for reopening.
“The governor has some information that we don’t have and so decisions are made based on these.
“And because the governor is directly involved in the management of COVID-19, so if he says in two weeks time, maybe he has been briefed that things will be better.
“So going by the information that is available to him we cannot hold sway for him. But going by what we also see every day we are also worried,” he said.
He, however, added that in spite of the concerns over rising COVID-19 cases, schools could not be shut indefinitely.
”We must do something that will help us see to it that schools are not shut indefinitely.
“I will say that let’s wait and see what happens. Just like Lagos State did now and reversed its decision to open churches and mosques slated initially for Friday, but now with the available information to the government, it has been shelved.
“So maybe if things did not change before the 29th and there is the need for a reversal of that decision, the government will do so,” he said.
Prof. Adams Onuka, another educationist at the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, called for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for teachers among other facilities.
He noted that reopening schools should imply that the necessary precautions had been taken.
“These precautions include that decontamination of schools had been done, PPE are provided for teachers while provision for social and physical distancing is assured
“Other necessary measures to ensure that spread is curtailed such as sanitisers and wash hand basins and soap are in place.
“If these measures have not been taken, then it is premature to re-open schools in view of the fact that the spread curve has not been flattened,” he said.
Onuka further said that those states that want to open schools could go ahead provided they had put all necessary measures in place.
“Otherwise, it is ill advised. I think they should seek medical evaluation of the situation and act according to the medical evaluation outcome,” he said
Dr Idowu Olanipekun, a development practitioner at the Centre for Development and Protection (CEDEP) Ibadan, on his part, also called for caution.