Most teachers of public schools in Oyo State resumed work on Monday in compliance with the state government’s directive to that effect.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent, who went to the schools, reports that as at 8am on Monday, the number of teachers seen in most public schools visited in Ibadan was significant.
However, in some schools, between three and four teachers were seen in the premises.
Earlier, the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Governor Seyi Makinde, had directed that pupils in primary 6, students in JSS 3 and SSS3 would resume on July 6, while teachers should resume on June 29.
Some school principals told NAN that the teachers who had been trained by the government on COVID-19 prevention would train their colleagues and other non-teaching staff on safety guidelines in view of resumption.
Folasade Ayodele, Vice-Principal of an Islamic high school, said school resumption on July 6 was visible with the cooperation of other stakeholders in education, especially the Parents Teachers Association.
Ayodele said: “We have been asked to speak with the PTA and philanthropists in the neighbourhood to donate.
“We will roll out our map on ensuring safety while we still deliberate on actualising the plans as the event unfolds.”
Akinkunmi Ogunsola, Principal, St. Patrick School, Basorun, Ibadan, said teachers were on ground to ensure adequate preparations for students to resume.
Ogunsola said: “We have provided the water, sanitiser and soaps; we have stickers displayed around the school to educate whoever that comes in.
“When the students finally resume, the school will roll out other plans as directed by the government.”
Also, Dasola Bello, Principal, Oba Akinyele Memorial High School, lbadan, said: “We had series of seminars for principals, vice-principals and teachers and more will still be done on COVID-19 prevention with the modules provided by the state government.
“Government has provided the teachers and students with face masks, which will be distributed.
“You can see that individuals came with their masks and we are adhering to safety protocols right from the entrance of the school gate.
“We will keep this up.”
Bello said parents also had their stake in education and believed they were ready to do their own bit.
He said: “They may collaborate with the government in fumigating the school premises; parents should keep their wards healthy and if any child is sick, the person should stay at home.
“Social distancing will not be a problem because only 150 students will be allowed to resume, which is still a manageable size.
“There are classes and furniture to accommodate them to ensure safety.
“Some teachers have been appointed as health officials and there are counsellors to see to it that safety guidelines are adhered.”
Aremu Akanfe, Proprietor of God is Able Group of School, said the school had participated in the government training on COVID-19 and its teachers were also being trained.
“We have washing hand basins, sanitiser has been provided for our students and we have fumigated the school premises,” Akanfe said.
However, some parents who spoke to NAN expressed divergent views on releasing their children to resume school on July 6 as directed by the government.
Chinyere Babalola, a parent, said her child would resume school on July 6 as she had confidence that she would adhere to safety rules on COVID-19.
Babalola said: “I know she is mature and has very good knowledge on COVID-19.
“I can trust her to follow through on it.
“She will go with her face mask and sanitiser as school resumes.
“Schools can’t be closed forever because life has to go on in spite COVID-19.”
Another parent, Ibukun Anifalaje, said she was not in support of students in terminal classes resuming because, according to her, adequate measures are not in place.
Anifalaje said: “In schools, we have more than 30 pupils per class.
“How can they ensure safety?
“Before schools were closed when COVID-19 just started, you will see schools providing water only with no soap.
“We can’t be sure things are provided in abundance for the students.
“I have told my children that they might not resume though he is to write the West African School Certificate Examinations.
“He will do it next year if he needs to.
“Even these children cannot tolerate the face masks for long and they will play with themselves.
“It is someone that is alive that will write examinations.”
But the Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, said the government was doing all it could to ensure safety of students upon resumption.
Olaleye said: “We are meeting the School Governing Board of each school.
“I am on my way to Government College, Ibadan and Lagelu Grammar School to meet with SGB.
“We will meet with PTA on Wednesday and we will be able to tell them things that have been put in place and provided.”