By Demola Akinyemi, Ilorin
The resumption of schools in Ilorin and other parts of Kwara state on Monday was marked by poor compliance with COVID-19 protocols marked
The schools initially scheduled to resume the second-term academic session on January 4, had the resumption date pushed forward by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to January 18 following increase in the second wave of COVID-19 cases in the country.
School Buses, private, commercial vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles were on the roads as early as 6.30 a.m conveying students and pupils to their respective schools mostly without their nose masks.
Our correspondent, who monitored activities at some schools in Adewole, Oko-Olowo, Ogidi Oloje, Ita nma, Adeta, Okelele, Asa dam, Taiwo, GRA, and Gerewu, observed partial compliance with COVID-19 protocols as released by the Federal Government in some private schools.
A visit of our correspondent to some of the public schools revealed that there was no compliance at most public schools as most of the schools lack the temperature checking thermometer, while pupils and students were seen gaining entrance without face masks and washing of hands.
A visit to some primary and secondary schools by our correspondent revealed that majority of students, pupils and teachers were not with their facemasks as no handwashing kits and hand sanitisers were provided at the entrances of most of the schools visited.
Reports from other parts of the state are not different as partial compliance to COVID-19 protocol was common to students and teachers in both public and private schools in the state during the resumption of academic activities.
Social distancing measures were also at the zero level as most of the classes of the schools were crowded with students and pupils.
A cross-section of teachers who spoke with our correspondent advised parents to make available nose masks for their children.
They said that it was disturbing that despite the enlightenment programme on the state radio and television, some students could not come to school without their face masks against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic to schools.
Also, a parent, Alhaja Iyabo Adewale said that the state government should not relent in its efforts at educating the populace and also provide face mask for schools to be distributed to the students.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development Mrs Kemi Adeosun who spoke with journalists after the monitoring of the level of the compliance of COVID-19 protocols on the resumption of schools reiterated the government’s commitment towards flattening the COVID-19 curve in the state.
According to her, “COVID-19 is real and all hands must be on deck to reduce the spread of the disease.”
She, therefore, warned Principals and proprietors of private schools not to allow anybody into the school premises without face masks.
She further said that any school that does not comply with NCDC and Federal Ministry of Education safety guidelines will be sanctioned.
Some of the schools visited according to her are Government Girls Day Secondary School, Okesuna, Amule Secondary School, Okele Secondary School and Dada Community Primary School.
Others are Dada Community, JSS, Bani Community School, Government High School, University of Ilorin Secondary School and Queen Elizabeth Secondary School all in Ilorin.