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Covid19: Cases Rise to 6,677, School Proprietors Groan, Teachers Lament As Schools Remain Closed

In Lagos State, the government has maintained that all private and public schools remain closed in its bid to protect pupils from the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected in Wuhan, China, and spread worldwide, causing fear and uncertainty among humans. The disease was tagged a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11.

In Nigeria, schools, just like businesses and religious centers, were shut since March 19, giving the authorities opportunities to adopt alternative modes of learning for students at all levels.

The shutdown has been most felt by private school owners who struggle to pay salaries of teachers who like their students have been forced to stay at home.

The Babjide Sanwo-Olu Government said rather than reopening schools and endangering the lives of students, efforts will be intensified on the ongoing free teachings on various media, especially radio and television.

The State Commissioner for education, Folasade Adefisayo, who relayed the government’s stance on the reopening of schools for the third-term academic session, urged proprietors aiming to commence academic session for third-term amid the coronavirus outbreak to abandon the plans.

While assuring that the state government will continue to improve its distance learning programmes, Adefisayo expressed satisfaction that students across private and public schools are taking advantage of the free service.

According to the NCDC, there are 6,677 cases of COVID19 in Nigeria, 1840 have been Discharged and 200 Deaths have been recorded.

Apart from the health crises caused by this disease, it has also led to lockdowns and travel restrictions declared by governments to contain its spread. As the virus continues to ravage the world, businesses have down and people are losing jobs as employers struggle to pay their workers which includes some teachers in Private schools, that have not earned salaries for about 2 months.

QUESTION

Should the Lagos State Government reopen schools? What will you suggest to the Lagos state government as the best option for Schools that have been on lockdown and how can the children be kept safe from contracting the virus?

Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.

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33 comments

George Etido May 21, 2020 at 8:32 am

Ify, I think while schools remains closed down as a measure to further content the coronavirus, FG should try and extend the School Feeding Programme to pupils of private schools, as this will help mitigate the effect of the pandemic in many families in Nigeria. George from Maryland.

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George Etido May 21, 2020 at 8:32 am

Ify, I think while schools remains closed down as a measure to further content the coronavirus, FG should try and extend the School Feeding Programme to pupils of private schools, as this will help mitigate the effect of the pandemic in many families in Nigeria. George from Maryland.

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Lucky Otunomhen May 21, 2020 at 3:08 pm

Good day Ify, pls most teachers in private schools are hungry. They haven’t been paid because there is a lockdown. While teachers in government owned schools and pupils are catered for, what about those in the private sector. The same applies to majority companies- no work no pay!
Please the government should not forget teachers in especially ‘small’ private schools, they are also Nigerians.

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Matthew Udegbulam May 21, 2020 at 11:27 am

I my opinion, I want to ask LASG to exercise caution for now as it’s already doing for now. If by 2 weeks time, there is a full relaxation of the lockdown hopefully; after about a month the schools can be reopened.I will advise that the education commissioner should meet with the public school administrators/ teachers at their districts giving them strong directives of implementing the rules of observing social/ physical distance in sitting arrangement, masking up, hand washing etc; among students and teachers. Of course they will have to educate the students on the dangers of Covid 19, and make them to take reponsibility. The private schools should equally be reached out to in the same vein.

The LASG should send out high- powered school inspectors- who must be on their toes to monitor the schools for strict implementation of the directives. The inspectors must live above board in discharging their duties, to make it work. If any school is found to fail the same shall be closed down (in case of private); Principals and headteachers will be sacked on the part public schools.

The above suggestion is important, because schools will not continue to be closed for ever. Livelihood,economy, the future human beings are involved.

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Chibuzor Aguwa May 21, 2020 at 3:11 pm

Going with the high number of positive cases that is been detected in Lagos State on a daily basis, I suggest schools, especially Primary and below, should remain closed for now. But if the LASG insists on re-ooening, then I wonder how the recommended COVID19 preventive measures are going to be practiced by children in primary and nursery schools. Tertiary institutions will be a different case because everyone involved are adults.

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Akinola Samuel Oguntusi May 21, 2020 at 2:38 pm

1) Yes, Lagos State Govt should open these schools.
2) Lagos State Govt should take these measures which are;
*For Primary Schools, they could rearrange the pupils seating in their classes in compliance to the distancing rule and perhaps with face masks.
* There should be strict monitoring of the pupils throughout their lecture periods by someone who will go round the classes to ensure strict compliance with the support of their teachers.
* This could also be replicated in secondary schools throughout the state both Public and Private.

3) There should be seating arrangement in compliance to the distancing rule, pupils and their teachers should be given face masks and hand gloves and finally there should be of necessity in all these schools both primary and secondary, public and private, hand washing spot within and outside these schools so the pupils can be thought hand washing as way of life.

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George Gboye May 21, 2020 at 2:44 pm

It is very unfortunate that the lock down has adversely affected many private businesses including private schools, but I think we should help ourselves at this trying period.
Some of our service providers, including our children school teachers would be paid at least a part of their salaries if some of us who can afford it can pay part of their school fees, even during this lock down.
When schools finally resumes, we will only be required to pay the balance school fees. Meanwhile, we’re helping them to survive the hard time

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Oluyemisi Akinlalu May 21, 2020 at 2:45 pm

I think the Lagos State government should not open the schools for now. Health is Wealth! Let’s exercise caution and observe things till the end of May.

However, the government should please come to the aid of school owners by giving them certain amount of money so as to enable them pay their teachers and other staff members.

Like me, I was able to pay April salary to my staff but I don’t think I can pay them for May.

May God heal our land.

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INE STEPHEN, May 21, 2020 at 2:47 pm

MADAM Ify, to be candid, I think it is gradually becoming a crime to be in the teaching profession in Nigeria.
But I thought that teaching is supposedly called a noble profession, why is the government treating the practioner in an un-noble manner so to speak.
Do you know that private schools have been responsible for solving unemployment to thousands of graduate in Nigeria. But the government is not considering ameliorating the plight of the private teachers.How sad?
The last time I was paid in my school was in January 2020 due to financial constraints not even knowing that corona virus will be the straw that will break my “metaphorical camel back”.Well I will continue to soldier on. I will forever be proud to be a teacher.
It is well. God bless you madam Ify.
God bless Nigeria!!!

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MADU STEPHEN OTITO May 21, 2020 at 2:48 pm

MADU STEPHEN OTITO
I am of the opinion that schools should REOPEN but not immediately. Phased Re opening of schools should start around the second week of June. Government should adopt a phased reopening of schools starting with higher institutions and the examination classes in secondary schools and primary schools. I.e SS 3; JSS 3 And primary 6. Other classes can then be reopened after two weeks that the higher institutions AND examination classes resumed. It’s imperative that Government adopt this strategy as delay and reluctance in the reopening of schools may result into reversal of gains in the education industry. To achieve this, there’s need to partner with RELEVANT stakeholders in the education industry to set up modalities to safeguard learners while in the learning environment.

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Philip Newman May 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

For now, I think the schools should remain closed until we have brought the COVID-19 situation in our country under control.

Let’s explore more ways to deliver virtual/online educational programmes for the sake of our children’s safety.
Parents and older family members should also step in as home teachers, guided by the curriculum and books available to their children.

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Abiola Olagoke May 21, 2020 at 2:55 pm

The schools should remain closed for now. The Lagos state Govt should look for a way that digital teaching can be bought into by both parents and proprietors of the schools. Apps should be developed that can teach students their curriculums. Any time a student logs in, he can learn whatever topic is slated for the week. The same app can take an attendance of activities of the students on the app for the use of the teachers. This will enable them monitor each child on their performance.

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Felix Umoru May 21, 2020 at 3:01 pm

With the desperate and crude attitudes of our citizens, to me it’s better to keep the schools closed, while parents should explore the various educational platforms on the internet to bridge the gap in the interim.
Thanks Ify for your consistency and intelligent approach to vital issue of discourses. God bless your.

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John May 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm

how do I get the tshirt

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Egbedokun Sunday May 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm

I think the best thing to do is to open up churches and mosques for two weeks. If the virus can be contain in those places and numbers reduces then the government can open up schools.

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JOHNSON OLADIMEJI May 21, 2020 at 3:13 pm

Ify, I think now is the time for Government to look inside for an homegrown solution to this Problem. Every country has its own peculiarities. Why is our Government using copy and paste method? What worked in America might not work in Nigeria. The Schools are closed. Children are at home doing nothing. Private School teachers were not being paid as a result of this.Have we forgotten these ones too have depedants?. For how Long are we going to sustain this lock-down cum closing of school? How did we get here?

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Luckymercy May 21, 2020 at 3:16 pm

Good day Ify, pls most teachers in private schools are hungry. They haven’t been paid because there is a lockdown. While teachers in government owned schools and pupils are catered for, what about those in the private sector. The same applies to majority companies- no work no pay!
Please the government should not forget teachers in especially ‘small’ private schools, they are also Nigerians.

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Olayinka Olaleye May 21, 2020 at 3:17 pm

While school will not remain closed forever, pupils health also remains paramount. I will suggest that schools be partially opened with a routine to be followed..On Monday, Primary 1 and J.S.S 1 to go to school. On Tuesday, Primary 2 and J.S.S 2, On Wednesday, Primary 3 and J.S.S 3, On Thursday, Primary 4 and S.S.S 1, On Friday, Primary 5 & 6 and S.S.S 2 and S.S.S 3..This should be done and observed for few weeks before the full re-opening with social distancing observed in their sitting arrangements, regular washing of hands before entering school and after closing hour. Not forgeting the use of case mask..

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Olafimihan May 21, 2020 at 3:32 pm

I concur with the Lagos State Government that schools should remain closed. The Government should use this period to reach out to school administrators and owners to get their commitments to ensure that high hygiene standards are maintained and measures should be put in placed to disinfect all schools in the state.
The Government should also provide testing kits and personnel to test as many school children as possible and certify them free from COVID-19, then school can resume

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David dare May 21, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Am in support of the decision of lagos state govt. But in the same vein private school owners and teachers are not smiling. Nothing is coming for them in terms of returns or salaries. Na person wey dey alive go fit run school or work on school. They should be patient a bit die down. Health is wealth. David Dare from Ijaye ojokoro. I also need the shirt it’s beautiful. 08067609360

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Kazeem, Sikirulai Olukayode May 21, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Ify, my contribution is simple.
Let’s wait and see what happens in the next two weeks, when we hope there will be a full relaxation of the lockdown.

Yes, children are easy target for the virus, if they aren’t properly monitored at school and at home.
But we did a successful job of something similar during the period of Governor Babatunde Fashola when Ebola (a more dangerous disease) ravaged the country.

As a secondary school Administrator then, we were heavily mobilised. All the necessary equipment needed to keep the children healthy were provided by the state government.

If the parents will play their own roles, school do the same and children realised ithat there are plenty to live for, everything will go well for this state.

What l noticed is that the noises being made and fear being created in the minds of the citizens are the things killing most of the victims.

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Opeyemi Adesina May 21, 2020 at 4:39 pm

I enjoy the program especially the way she put her guests on the spot

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Oluwafunmilayo kalejaiye May 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm

I will prefer the school should still be closed down for now because the virus doesn’t know any age range and the children immunity is not as strong as adult moreover when the surge rised in children it will be a great calamity to the nation. Though I will like government to render some aids to private schools especially those that are identified with their association. My take

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Bright Osilama May 21, 2020 at 4:43 pm

Schools should remain closed, life is more important than any other thing in life. No matter what.

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Nathan Amans May 21, 2020 at 4:50 pm

The hard truth we should know is that COVID 19, has come to stay and it will live with us. Energy should therefore be channeled on prevention and and management of the virus. Just as the time of Ebola, the schools were not closedown, but rather government was on top in disseminating information about the disease. Precaution measures were taken by all and sundry to see that a lot of people were not infected. Schools should be allowed to open but with stringent monitoring by government to see that the high hygiene specially in terms of hand washing and social distancing are observed.

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Oluwafunmilayo kalejaiye May 21, 2020 at 4:53 pm

Another angle is this, maybe government should allow jss3 and ss3 to finish up their academic then the rest can be allowed so that there will be enough space and adequate monitoring for the children. But I doubt the sustainability of the school owner and the children on monitoring aspect

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Canice Ifeanyi May 21, 2020 at 5:53 pm

Actually it has not been easy for private school teachers because school owners are not paying them but at same time we can’t sacrifice the lives of innocent children on the altar sympathy .

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Oluwafunmilayo kalejaiye May 21, 2020 at 6:35 pm

Government can not reach everyone,let also help ourselves in any way we can and let continue to do everything within our capacity to keep ourselves and our children safe

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Oluwafunmilayo kalejaiye May 21, 2020 at 6:37 pm

How many schools have sickbay talkless of how to handle this pandemic if there’s any surge in any school remember the case of Queens college a lot of students died in the process

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Oluwafunmilayo kalejaiye May 21, 2020 at 6:38 pm

And if they open this schools,the poor and the average will suffer most

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Olaide May 21, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Good evening Ify,
The stay at home has already diverted the attention of the children from education. Go to the streets, speak with them, you would understand that many of them won’t resume. That means that our education is collapsing. JAMB has not completed its exams. WAEC is yet to conduct its exams. Many teachers in the private schools won’t resume because they have lost hope in the systems. Let all schools resume. Is there any assurance that there will be a cure for the virus any time soon?

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Oluwafunmilayo kalejaiye May 21, 2020 at 6:42 pm

This people shouting the school should be opened but when the case get out of hands I hope they will face the music themselves as government may not ready to listen to them by that time

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Olatunde Lawal May 22, 2020 at 10:03 am

I do not subscribe to reopening of schools at this period when the world is facing a a lot of challenges (no thanks to the covid 19 crisis). The government should not fall under the pressure of people trying to look at their monetary benefits caused by the shorting down of their individual (school) businesses, rather, government should focus more on how to protect the life of this innocent children so they can have a reasonable and sound future. May God help our nation.

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