The Nigeria Medical Association has warned against the reopening of schools by whatever name and protocol, why the government is unwilling to heed the professional red flag is a wonderment.
The primary responsibility of government is the safety of lives and property, and the wellbeing of the people. How well has government at all levels delivered on this mandate?
Two weeks ago the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu cautioned that because of the COVID19 pandemic government was unwilling to open the schools. Just yesterday there was a 360 degrees turn around, even more benumbing is the fact that schools will be reopening for Primary 6, JSS 3 and SSS3 Pupils in one week, what informed the suddenness?
With COVID 19 infection figures on the rise, with over 40,000 cases when we are yet to test up to 400,000 persons nationwide, government should be more concerned than presently. The figures are worrying because it appears that more than 10% of tested persons are positive. And 5months after COVID 19 arrived Nigeria (since the 27th of February, 2020) and with all the Billions that have been donated and the billions spent on the COVID 19 pandemic, O sorry scamdemic, Nigeria is yet to test up to 400,000 citizens, what therefore informs the decision to dare the scourge?
We agree that the education of our children is of primacy. We agree that the education curriculum if we really do have one, will be disrupted, and at a huge price. We agree that government must do something, but COVID 19 isn’t the Devil or the Deep Sea, in the present case, government is both the Devil and the Deep Sea.
Whilst some State Governors and their wards and staff are down with COVID 19 and in Isolation because they couldn’t safely conduct themselves, government thinks that schools can safely reopen for final exams, what a wonder, and such is the Devil in the present instance, mouthing safe reopening when such is manifestly impossible particularly in our Public Schools.
With over 850 lives lost to the pandemic and more than 40,000 cases reported, with more than 10% of the tested persons coming out positive, government appears unable to take a definite position on how to protect and preserve the future, such is the deep sea in the present instance, the risk of having a lot of children drown in the sea of the COVID 19 pandemic is more concrete than the so-called damage of a lost academic year, but will this government think through anything?
If Adults are not social distancing well enough, is it kids and pupils in schools that will?
Why can’t the government give some financial palliatives to Private School owners so the pressure of staff salaries and cash squeeze do not blind them to the hazards of reopening schools at this time? Final exams can be written when manifestly safe, Children’s Lives Matter.
The Nigeria Medical Association has warned against the reopening of schools by whatever name and protocol, why the government is unwilling to heed the professional red flag is a wonderment. The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU has warned against it, why government appears unwilling to heed intellectual caution is benumbing. And in this short effort of mine, I advise a possible turnaround, indeed I believe that rescinding the present decision of government ala the reopening of schools will be the most popular and positive policy turnaround of the present watch.
May our Leaders learn to think through any policy of theirs because a medical pandemic is the same as war, and God forbid had Nigeria been in a state of war, the schools will remain closed like some in the theatres of insurgency in the North East. May God Bless Nigeria.
Chukwudumebi Nkemcho Nwaokobia CNN.
FKA Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr.
Convener COUNTRYFIRST MOVT.