Health, Basic Education Ministries collaborate to reopen schools in Anambra

In a bid to ensure safety as schools resumes, the Ministries of Health and Basic Education have carried out massive media sensitisation of students, teachers and proprietors on COVID-19 pandemic preventive measures.Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala noted that the collaboration became necessary as a result of the Federal and State Government’s directives that schools must observe the preventive measures.
Dr Okpala made this known during the ABS Radio, Facebook live streaming programme with the commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha.

He assured the public that measures had been installed for schools to be reopened and ensuring that students would not be affected by the pandemic.Health commissioner explained that the innovations made by the Basic Education Ministry in adapting to the pandemic were highly commendable; they were in line with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and WHO guidelines.So with respect to resumption of schools, we understand that COVID-19 has actually caused a lot of obstruction leading to no fewer than 1.5billion children staying home across the globe.

Schools have to be reopened but we have to think of a safer way of doing that, we engage teachers, stakeholders on what to be done with regards to school’s reopening.From our interactions, meetings and sensitisation with teachers and stakeholders have shown a high degree of readiness and preparedness for resumption.The essence of this programme is actually to speak with the wide audience and for them to understand what they need to do and be ready,’’ he said.

The following measures must be observed and should be practiced in schools to save resumption of schools in the state:Social distancing; the guideline says that arrangement in the class room; students must observe two meters distancing per seat and this has been discussed with the appropriate authorities.Teachers should help in enforcing this in schools not only in the classroom but Churches in the schools and their refectories.

Proper wearing of face masks and use of infrared thermometers to screen individuals daily at least once daily to determine if one has a fever.Others include provision of hand washing stations at strategic places and frequent washing of hands with soap under running for at least 20 seconds without exemption.No contact salutations like handshakes, hugs and pecks at this point.

Teachers, infirmaries and COVID-19 Task force teams are our extension of ministerial surveillance arm to help us a lot.Their roles include enforcement of the identified rules discussed, wearing of face masks by students, teachers and not just wearing them but wearing it appropriately.’’Dr Okpala assured that flyers containing all the COVID-19 pandemic information and guidelines will be distributed to schools.

Earlier, Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha said that based on the agreement of all commissioners for education and Education minister that schools will resume on Aug. 5 basically for SSS3 students.Prof. Omenugha noted that teachers in the state received massive sensitisation, zoom meetings together with stakeholders in education and the health commissioner has helped in educating them.She explained that an online survey conducted shows that 95 per cent of schools were ready for resumption and also willing to comply by the guidelines.

According to her, the state government will provide 1,000 infrared thermometers to schools in the state, noting that during the Ebola outbreak schools in the state received infrared thermometers.The only challenge we have now is that 50 per cent of schools do not have borehole and we have notified the Public Utilities ministry for intervention.’’She advised schools in the state to make available buckets, soaps and sanitizers and also appealed for interventions from well-meaning individuals.

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