More schools reopen as SS3 students prepare for WASSCE

More secondary schools reopened in many parts of the country on Wednesday for students preparing for the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination expected to begin on August 17, 2020.

Our correspondents, who visited some of the schools, observed that a large number of students adhered to COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

In Kwara State, The PUNCH observed that only SS3 students resumed for classes in preparation for the external examination.

This is just as the state government warned principals in public schools as well as private school owners  in the state to comply with guidelines of COVID-19 during school resumption or face sanctions.

Some students in the state were, however, sighted in their various classes receiving lectures with strict use of face masks and social distancing as of the time of filing this report.

At St. Anthony Secondary School, GRA, Ilorin, teachers were seen allocating hall and classes to students ahead of the commencement of the examination so as to maintain social distance.

Principal of the school, Mrs Elizabeth Afolayan, told one of our correspondents that the school registered 200 students for the WAEC examination.

But in Katsina State, JSS III and SS III students are expected to resume for academic activities on Monday, August 10, 2020.

Official school hours have also been extended from 8am to 3pm from Mondays to Saturdays as against the normal 8am to 2pm in the past.

A statement by the Public Relations Officer, state Ministry of Education, Salisu Kerau, on behalf of the Commissioner, Professor Badamosi Charanchi, advised the returning students and staff to observe all health protocols issued to prevent COVID-19 spread.

In another development, the Nasarawa State Government said arrangements had been concluded to commence the fumigation of about 521 examination centres of both public and private schools ahead of the re-opening of schools in the state as being directed by the Federal Government.

Mrs Fati Sabo, the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, who disclosed this at a media briefing with journalists on Wednesday in Lafia, said no fewer than 26 students would be seating for this year’s WASSCE in the state.

Meanwhile, Akaanyee Terkimbi, Principal, Jofag International College Lafia, told The PUNCH that they had already fumigated their facilities preparatory to reopening of schools.

However, in Rivers State, despite Wednesday’s reopening of public and private secondary schools for exit classes, there were few students, while most classrooms were empty in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

It was observed that most private schools had yet to re-open, though they adhered to the COVID-19 guidelines, including provision of water and soap, hand sanitisers at the entrance.

But the situation was different in Ondo State as government sealed two secondary schools in the state for violating COVID-19 protocols.

The affected schools are CAC Grammar School, Ondo Road, Akure, and Akure Academy, Oba-Ile in Akure North Local Government Area of the state.

The Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mr Akin Asaniyan, confirmed this in Akure, the state capital.

In Bayelsa State, Governor Douye Diri said his administration would do more to positively shape the future of students in the state.

Diri made the promise while declaring open the ‘Safe Re-opening of Schools, Train-the-Trainers Programme’ organised by the state government in Yenagoa to ensure the safety of teachers and pupils against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ekiti plans random test

In Ekiti, Governor Kayode Fayemi directed that random samples of some of the students and teachers should be taken for COVID-19 test.

“This is part of our efforts to ensure we do not have a spike after resumption. The step is in addition to supplying the schools with a water dispensing system each for hand washing, hand-sanitisers and infrared thermometers.”

Meanwhile, the Gombe State Commissioner for Education, Dr Habu Dahiru, on Wednesday said SSS 3 of both public and private schools would resume on August 10 ahead of WAEC preparation.

Dahiru said this was based on the approval by the state governor, Inuwa Yahaya.
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