COVID-19: Anambra State, Prepares For School Reopening

By: Ifeanyi Okonkwo,

Mr. Patrick Ugbaja, Chairman, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) has disclosed that, the state government would soon commence fumigation of all the schools in the state against the novel Coronavirus infections, preparatory to reopening of the schools.

Ugbaja, who disclosed this to our correspondent in his office, at the ASUBEB complex Awka, further revealed that, other preparations to resumption of schools include the installation of infrared temperature devices, provision of hand-sanitizers, solar-powered hand-washing facilities and a host of others.

He said, St. John Technical School Alor and a Mission School in Ogidi have developed Solar-Powered Hand-Washing Facilities, as part of efforts to chase COVID19 out of Anambra state, especially, as plans are underway to reopen schools.

The Chairman explained that, ASUBEB has keyed into the On-Air-Teaching Programme of the state government in order to bridge the gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while emphasizing that ASUBEB has adopted the scheme of work for the On-Air-Learning Programme to cushion the effects of lost times.

Ugbaja, also noted that, Teachers in the state have been very responsive and proactive since the COVID-19 lockdown began because, in spite of the contagious pandemic, government still summoned them from far and near to participate in the Radio and Television Education Programmes aimed at keeping students busy at home until schools eventually reopens.

He said, “ASUBEB will convene a meeting with Education Secretaries before schools reopen to intimate them of the need to ensure that, all COVID-19 preventive materials were put in place, as well as, ensure social distancing amongst pupils.

According to him, the expectation was that, the risk of Coronavirus infections would reduce, but the contrary is the situation, as the rate of infections continued to increase astronomically on daily basis, noting that the Federal Government has equally studied the situation and said that it was not safe to reopen schools at the moment.

The ASUBEB boss noted that, in order to achieve the COVID-19 protocol of social distancing amongst students, the Ministry of Basic Education came up with a two-system of schooling comprising first and second segments to ensure adequate spacing.

“The plan is that, junior schools will start by 8 o’clock in the morning and end by 12pm in the afternoon. About 30 minutes break will be given for the junior ones to go home while the senior ones will start by 12:30 and end up about 4pm. These are plans on ground now.

“We are also thinking about fumigation which the state government will sponsor. We want to fumigate all the schools in Anambra state and when we are sure that all the COVID-19 preventive measures have been put in place, and then schools will reopen.” Ugbaja optimistically stated.

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