Covid-19: Cross River distributes protective equipment to school children

By Eme Offiong, Calabar

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Senior Secondary students of the West African Peoples Institute, WAPI, leaving the school premises shortly after the address of the Principal.

The Cross River State Government has distributed Personal Protective Equipment, PPEs to students from three selected secondary schools.

This is sequel to the decision of the State Government to gradually reopen schools.

The distribution of the PPEs was supervised by the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Godwin Amanke, who was at the West African Peoples Institute, WAPI, in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State.

The principal of the school, Mrs. Mercy Etim urged the students to return home and await further directive after receiving the PPEs from staff of the Cross River State Ministry of Education.

Voice of Nigeria observed that before 9.30am, the Senior Secondary One to three students were asked to return home with some of them holding the face shields and wearing the face masks, while others were seen without any PPEs.

Some of the teachers adorned in different nose masks were seen packing up buckets used for handwashing into the principal’s office before leaving the premises.

Students Expectations

A few of the students expressed sadness that the classrooms were actually not opened for them to take lessons as most of them came prepared to learn.

One female student in SS2 said “I thought we will be allowed to enter and clean our classes today, but we were dismissed right from the assembly ground. Personally, I will just come to school tomorrow even though the principal said she will inform us accordingly. I am tired of staying at home”.

 

Another student said “we have stayed home for too long. I was happy that we will be back to school, but the way it is going, I do not think lessons will begin anytime soon. I feel frustrated with this whole situation. They only called us and gave us face masks and the shields”.

NMA Warnings

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Cross River State branch at the end of its ordinary general meeting held on June 10, 2020, had advised the government against a trial or actual resumption of schools due to the lack of data to ascertain the state’s COVID-19 status.

In a statement jointly signed by Dr. Agam Ayuk, the chairman and Dr. Ezoke Epoke, the secretary, the NMA stated that , “the quick resumption of schools, despite genuine reasons, has the potential of significant disease outbreak among students.”

The  NMA encouraged the continued use of education technologies to provide remote learning opportunities and programmes for students.

It could be recalled that on the 11th of June, the Cross River Ministry of Education announced a trial and phased resumption with effect from Tuesday, June 16, 2020 in three selected secondary schools across the three senatorial districts for SS1 to SS3.

The schools included the West African Peoples Institute, WAPI, in Calabar for the southern districts; Government Secondary School, Ikom at the central and Government Secondary School, Igoli, Ogoja within the northern senatorial district.

 

Confidence Okwuchi