Without a doubt, the Coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected all aspects of our lives. In Nigeria, the educational system has been devastated and children from poor families are bearing the brunt of it.
Unfortunately, the educational sector is a part of the receiving end. According to UNESCO, an estimated 1.725 billion learners have been affected as a result of school closures, representing about 99.9% of the world’s student population as of April 13th, 2020.
The Federal Government today has ratified the full reopening of schools in the country.
The Naijanewsmill had earlier reported that schools in the country had been shut in March as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.
However, the Federal Government announced the resumption of graduating pupils effective August 4, 2020, to write this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination from August 17, 2020, through September 12, 2020.
But speaking on Thursday, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, during a briefing at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, said the task force recommends phased return of students.
Aliyu said, “For educational institutions which include daycare, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. Educational institutions should begin the process of working towards potentially reopening within this phase.
“However, we strongly recommend that states conduct risk assessment to ensure all schools are at a level of compliance and create a monitoring mechanism to assess, create, and monitor this level of preparedness.
Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.As of 27 July 2020, approximately 1.725 billion learners are currently affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic. According to UNICEF monitoring, 106 countries are currently implementing nationwide closures and 55 are implementing local closures, impacting about 98.6 percent of the world’s student population.
School closures impact not only students, teachers, and families but have far-reaching economic and societal consequences.
School closures in response to the pandemic have shed light on various social and economic issues, including student debt,digital learning,food insecurity, and homelessness, as well as access to childcare, health care,housing,internet, and disability services.
The impact was more severe for disadvantaged children and their families, causing interrupted learning, compromised nutrition, childcare problems, and consequent economic cost to families who could not work.
“Meanwhile, all daycares and educational institutions are to remain closed to in-classes until this level of risk is assessed. And if there will be opening of schools, it must be staged and preferably carried out in phases to ensure that this does not pose a risk to the general public and in particular to vulnerable groups that might end up getting infected by students going back home.”