By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja, September 17, 2020
The Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, has charged teachers and learners to take full responsibility for their personal hygienes to ensure their safety and maintain good health at all times.
Jones made the call while speaking with newsmen after he paid an assessment visit to some primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in both western and central senatorial districts of the state on Thurday.
It would be recalled that the Kogi Government had announced that it would reopen schools at all levels on Sept.14, including primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the state.
According to Jones, his team’s visit to the schools is to ensure full compliance with the directive of His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello, that all schools in Kogi should reopen effective from September 14, 2020.
”The visit is to also ensure that schools are complying with the Covid-19 protocols as established by the relevant agencies of the Federal Government, and we have seen that both directives have been fully complied with.
”So, I am extremely satisfied and comfortable with what I have seen today”, Jones said.
He urged schools to ensure that they continue to strictly comply with Covid-19 the established protocols, saying personal hygienes remained individual’s personal responsibility.
The commissioner stressed need for students and teachers protect themselves by maintaining personal hygienes both in school and at their various homes, saying, ”health is wealth”.
He extolled the governor for his proactiveness in handling the issue of Covid-19 pandemic in the state, saying it was highly commendable.
The commissioner stressed that there was no reason schools should be locked down because of the small percentage of Covid-19 active cases in Nigeria compared to her large population.
”We need to put the necessary measures in place that will ensure that our people are continually protected from the virus especially from people coming from the high risk States”, he said.
He, however warned against cultism or any act of criminal activities in the campuses of all the state’s higher institutions, while directing the schools’ managements to take full responsibility for safety in their campuses.
The schools visited included: Kogi College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obangede, Okene; College of Education Technical (COET) Kabba, All Saints Primary School, UBEC JSS School, Oke-Ibunkun High School, St Augustine College, and Saint Monica’s College (SMC), Kabba, among others.
In their separate responses, the Principals of Schools and Provosts of Colleges visited, commended the commissioner and his team for the visit, assuring him of their commitment to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
The Provost of COET, Kabba, Mrs Victoria Jagboro; and that of College of Nursing, Obangede, Mrs Hannah Abraham, solicited for the state government’s support in terms of infrastructures and adequate manpower.
Jagboro passionately appealed to the state government for the prompt construction of the bridge leading to the COET permanent site so as to ensure a motorable access road.
Responding, the commissioner advised the institutions’ managements to make their requests known in writing so as to get the necessary action from the State Government through the ministry.
”The issue of the motorable access road to the COET is very pathetic, but since it has been approved, I will ensure that I follow up to make sure that the job is done,” Jones said
The commissioner further reassured schools of the determination of the governor to take education to the next level in Kogi State no matter what it takes.
He stressed that the governor remained commited to ensuring that teachers’ welfare were adequately taken care of, saying ”the best of time are ahead of teachers in Kogi State due to what the governor is planning to do”.
An SS2 student of Saint Augustine College, Kabba, Kehinde Musa, said they felt very good to resume back to school after six months’ break, and commended the governor for the gesture.
The commissioner also inspected some infrastructures at the institutions visited, such as the CBT Centre, Block of Staff office, and the ongoing project of 350 capacity Lecture Theatre at the Permanent site of CoE Technical, Kabba, and Hostels and Lecture Theatre at College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obangede.
The Commissioner was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Pastor Emmanuel Idenyi; the Special Adviser to the governor on Education Dr. Gabriel Ottah; the ministry’s Director of Higher Education, Mrs Clara Bolu; and the media team.