Lateness to school and non-usage of face masks were some of the things that characterised the resumption of students in public schools in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Monday.

Premium Times recalls that Governor Seyi Makinde of the state had last week approved the resumption dates for public and private primary and secondary schools.

Primary and secondary school students in both public and private schools across the state were ordered to resume today (Monday).

Our correspondent recalls that the schools were shut down few months ago, due to COVID-19 that ravaged the world.

Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, who issued the statement on behalf of Makinde last week, noted that primary and secondary schools are expected to operate morning and afternoon shiftings.

He advised school heads to make temporary use of spaces like laboratories, libraries and examination hall as classroom where it is necessary in order to observe social distancing.

“The resumption date for 2020/2021 academic Session for Public / Private Primary and Secondary Schools as announced by the State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology will commence on Monday, 21st September, 2020.

“The revised Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools now include the followings: Schools will now operates morning and afternoon shifting for pupils and students of primary and secondary schools as stated below:

“Primary 1-3 8.00 am – 11.00 am, Primary 4 – 6 12 noon – 3.00 pm, JSSS 1 -3 8.00 am – 11.00 am, SSS 1- 3 12 noon – 3.00 pm

“It becomes mandatory for all Schools, Public and Private to constitute Covid-19 Task force to be headed by Heads of Schools with two members of staff.

“School Heads are advised to make temporary use of spaces like laboratories, libraries and examination hall as classroom where it is necessary in order to observe social distancing. Pupils / Students should be attached to Chairs and Tables as well as discouraging sharing of items.”

But, findings by Premium Times correspondent, who went round Ibadan on Monday when the students resumed, revealed that most of the students came late to school while a majority of them did not their face masks.

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Some of the schools visited include Methodist N5 Basic School, Ibadan, Ikolaba Grammar School, Ibadan, Ikolaba High School and Community Primary School Ikolaba in Ibadan.

Others are Government College Apata, Community Grammar School, Omi Adio, Queens School Apata, Ajibode Grammar School, Ajibode and Ajibode High School, Ajibode, all in Ibadan.

It was observed that while some schools were observing some COVID-19 protocols such as placing hand washing buckets and detergents at the entrance of the school, some did not have such provision.

Students’ temperature were also checked through infrared thermometer in some schools while such things did not exist in some schools.

Late coming characterised resumption, non-usage of face masks:

Findings by Premium Times correspondent in all the schools visited revealed that a vast majority of the pupils and students in primary one to primary three (Primary 1-3) and Junior Secondary School one to three (JSS 1-3) came to school late.

Most of the students , who are expected to be in the school before 8.00am , were seen coming to the school minutes after 8am or 9am when the academic activities are expected to commence.

At Methodist N5 Basic School where our correspondent spent few minutes to observe the resumption, a vast majority of the pupils were still seen coming around 8.30am when our correspondent left the school.

Majority of the pupils, who resumed, were seen either without face masks or not using it.

The presence of our correspondent who introduced himself as journalist made one of the teachers in the school to mandate those with face masks to wear them.

Some pupils were seen coming to the school when our correspondent left the school.

Our correspondent, who arrived Ikolaba Grammar School at 8.39 saw some of the students still finding their ways to enter the school premises.

The same thing was observed at Ikolaba High School, Community Primary School Ikolaba and other schools visited by our correspondent where many students were still seen coming to the school when they were expected to be in their classrooms.

Some students of Ikolaba High School were still coming to the school when our correspondent left the school some minutes after 9.00am.

Some students , who did not wear their face masks, were, however, sent back home by their teachers when our correspondent visited some of the schools.

At Ikolaba Grammar School and Ikolaba High School, some students who failed to wear their face masks, were asked not to enter the school premises.

Teachers speak

Some of the teachers, who spoke with Premium Times, identified inability to differentiate between the two different sessions as the major reason for the lateness to school among the pupils.

The head teacher of Methodist N5 Basic School ,who identified herself as Mrs Fowowe, said that most the pupils could not know when they were expected to be in school, a situation which made some of them to come late.

She said, “This is Methodist N5 Basic School beside NTA Ibadan. The students are expected to come in two batches. We have primary 1-3 and primary 3-6. The primary 1-3 are to be in school between 8-11 am and primary 3-6, 12pm-3pm. Most of them do not know when they are expected to come that is one of the main reason. And you know that this is the first day of resumption”.

A teacher, who spoke with Premium Times at Ikolaba Grammar School, noted that students’ temperature was checked through infrared thermometer. This was confirmed by our correspondent.

She said, “We now have students in JSS 1 going to JSS 2 and JSS 2 going to JSS 3 here. You can see that we are sending some students who did not wear their face masks here back to their parents.

“SSS 1going to SSS 2 and SSS 2 going to SSS 3 will resume by 12pm. They will be in school between 12-3pm”.

We are happy to resume – Students

Some of the students, who spoke with this newspaper, said that they were delighted to resume today.

One of the students, Aishat Akanbi said that she was delighted to resume today.

“I am in JSS 2, I am eleven years old. I fell good to resume today because I want to read. I was happy that is why I come to school today. I was very happy because I did not expect it. Some people in our house said that we will resume next year and I said that God forbid, but I am happy that we resumed today”.

Another student, Dunmininu Elegbeleye, said that she was happy.

“I was happy that we resumed today. When I was at home, my mummy told me that I should be going to lesson. But, the lesson was not like coming to the school”.

Efforts made by Premium Times to get the reaction of Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Olaleye, on the issues of lateness and non-usage of face masks that characterised resumption proved abortive as calls put through his mobile number were not answered.

Mr Olaleye in a reply to an SMS sent to him for his reaction said that he was in a meeting.

He said, “I am in a FME/UNICEF stakeholders meeting.”



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