Private and public secondary schools in Ogun State on Tuesday reopened for students in the exit class in compliance with the directive of the state government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the government had on March 19 ordered closure of schools in the state as part of measures to check the spread of COVID-19.
Various schools in the state had resorted to online method of teaching to ensure that their students continued to learn.
Governor Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday, however, directed that schools be opened for students in SS3 to enable them write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination scheduled to commence on August 17.
NAN correspondents who visited some schools in Abeokuta metropolis, observed that they all had hand washing buckets and sanitisers at their entrances, corridors and other strategic points in the premises.
Health officials were also on ground at the gates of the schools to take the temperature of students, teachers and visitors before allowing them into the premises.
The students, who wore face masks, also maintained social distancing in sitting arrangement.
The Principal of Gateway Secondary School at Ita-Iyalode, Adebayo Ojo, in an interview with NAN said the school recorded about 90 per cent attendance on the first day of resumption.
“Out of a total number of 148 students in our SS3 classes, no fewer than 97 of them, representing about 90 per cent, resumed for classes today,” he said.
Ojo gave an assurance that adequate safety measures had been provided for the students within the school premises.
He said: “We have extended the classes by making use of the ones in the Junior Secondary School and this has enabled us to limit the number of students in each class to 15 to enable us observe social distancing of at least two metres.
“In the event that the temperature of any of the students rises above the normal, such student would be taken to the sick bay.
“If we notice any COVID-19 symptom, such student will be referred to our isolation centre before the parents and officials of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control are contacted for proper verification.”
The Principal of African Church Grammar School, Adetunji Elegbede, in an interview with NAN at the school said the teachers and other staff members had undergone physical and online training by the government on COVID-19 ahead of resumption.
Elegbede told NAN that in compliance with the the government directive, the school did not insist on the provision of COVID-19 negative test certificate before admitting boarding students into the hostels.
He, however, gave an assurance that adequate arrangements were in place to monitor both the day and the boarding students to ensure that they complied with the COVID -19 protocols.
The principal explained that the task of monitoring the students in the hostels would be much easier since it was only SS3 students that were around.
Elegbede, who could not give the specific number of students who resumed on Tuesday, said: “About 80 per cent of the 481 students in our SS3 classes resumed today.”
The Proprietor of Paragon Secondary School at the Oke-Aregba area, Lawrence Holumide, told NAN at the school that the school had arranged regular health talks for the students in addition to other safety measures that were put in place.
Holumide, who is the National President of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, added that the school had reduced the number of students in each of the rooms in its hostels from eight to four in observance of social distancing.
He commended Abiodun for cancelling the order on the provision of COVID-19 negative test certificate as a mandatory requirement for admitting boarding students into the hostels.
He said: “Boarding students in the private schools had earlier been asked to pay N25,000 for the test and we considered such amount too high.
“We, however, thank the Governor for reversing such directive to enable all the students to resume.”