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COVID-19: Bishop says re-opening of schools will endanger safety of students

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By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia

Following the federal government’s approval to reopen schools for primary 6 pupils, J.S.S 3 and S.S 3 students, Bishop of the Methodist Church, Dr Sunday Onuoha, has tasked the government to jettison the move as it poses danger to the fight against further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government had approved the reopening of schools for students in graduating classes; primary 6, JS3 and SS3, to enable them prepare for their passing out examinations, while the rest of the students remain at home.

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Briefing journalists in Umuahia, Bishop Onuoha expressed fear of another wave of transmission if the federal government insists on reopening of schools, stressing that some schools can’t meet the conditions listed by FG before reopening.

The cleric explained that reopening of schools may likely expose students and their families exposed to the highly contagious virus

Bishop Onuoha noted that since the Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, had said there may be need to adjust and re-plan if there was any foreseen danger, the government ought to shelve the plan of opening schools in the face of rising cases of COVID-19 patients all over the federation.

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In his words; “Apart from compromising the safety of students if classes resume, there is a high risk of community infection as schools in rural areas may not meet up with approved guidelines given by the government, hence the possibility of students spreading the virus among family members when they return from classes. The federal government should jettison the move as it poses a great danger to the fight against further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Bishop Onuoha, who is the Co-Chair Inter-Faith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), urged the government to devise ways of keeping the students active and conducting examinations without gathering students together since infections are on the increase.


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