Anambra Students to Wear White Face Masks on Return to School

In its continuous effort to combat the deadly coronavirus in Anambra State, ahead of the resumption of schools in the state, the government has directed that students be made to wear white face masks, while teachers are permitted to wear masks of various colours, report Precious Ukeje and Alexander Johnson Adejoh.

This was even as the date for students’ resumption was yet to be announced, pending compliance to the directives of the state government by schools through the Post Primary School Service Commission, PPSSC.

This was disclosed in a brief meeting held among teachers and principals of secondary schools to brief teachers on measures to take in the classrooms, following the directives of the state government.

Speaking at the meeting at one of the schools Fides visited, the Principal, Kenneth Dike Memorial Secondary School, Awka, Mrs Ngozi Okonkwo, said that amid arguments that teachers had no business in the school if students were still at home, it was necessary to brief them on what was expected of them as the fight against the pandemic had not ended and schools were expected to resume soon.

Okonkwo added that it would be irresponsible to have the students in school without putting measures in place to make sure that the guidelines of operation during the coronavirus period were followed.

The principal who noted that the virus spread like wildfire, insisted that as a developing country, the country could not keep up with the lockdown as it did not have the same economic viability like advanced countries to keep staying indoors.

Fides also learned that form teachers had been directed to arrange the seats in their classes in a space compliant with the social distancing requirement in order to determine the number of students each classroom would contain per time.

The government, through the PPSSC, had also directed that schools filled a form, providing information on the number of environmental facilities available in each school, the number of students each class would contain pending the dimension of each classroom, as well as the number of hand washing buckets that would be needed, and report same last Tuesday, May 5.
In addition to all other measures, Fides also gathered that visitors would not be allowed into any school without covering their faces with face masks. Schools were also directed to provide at the entrance, insignias pointing to compulsory use of face masks before entry into the environment.

In pursuit of completing second term, 2019/2020 academic session, examinations which were scheduled to be written before the sudden closure of schools, would be written while resumption for third term would be about a week after the examinations.

Meanwhile, teachers were seen in some schools carrying out sanitation exercises as the school environments were already littered with leaves, with sitting arrangements in compliance with the social distancing orders.

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