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Group Tasks Federal, State Government On Need To Provide Facilities For Virtual Classes.

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By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City.

A group, Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) on Sunday tasked both the federal and state government on the need to provide facilities for virtual classes, as well as
deploy health personnel to schools to handle emergencies in the wake of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

National Coordinator of NDD, Tajudeen Alabede, and Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Abdul-Wasi Moshood, in a statement after a virtual conference meeting and made available to journalists in Benin City, said
there should have been a well-coordinated plan by the Federal and State
Governments about phased resumption in a way that would prevent overcrowding
in the institutions rather than the suspension of Schools resumption by the government.

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He added that providing hand sanitisers and masks to students and staff, will be advantageous rather than delay or postponement of Schools resumption by the government.

Tajudeen urged government to carry out compulsory testing of all students and staff and encourage the setting up of isolation centres in all local governments councils as major requirement for schools resumption.

“It is discomforting that many Governments have not gone beyond merely issuing statements encouraging schools to observe COVID-19 protocols. In this situation,
the hapless students, pupils and staff are literally left to their fate as adequate
safety measures are not put in place by the Federal and State Governments.

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According to him, NDD considers this inappropriate as the primary duty of any government is the security and wellbeing of the citizens.

The statement read in part, “What NDD expects is for the Government at all levels to regard COVID-19 as a national emergency which would demand that affected sectors are provided with all the necessary support that they need to cope with the impact of the pandemic.

“In the minimum, Government should consider providing facilities for virtual classes,
deploying health and security personnel to schools to handle emergencies, providing hand sanitisers and masks to students and staff, providing testing
facilities for compulsory testing of all students and staff and setting up isolation
centres in all Local Governments.

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“Besides, there should have been a well-coordinated plan by the Federal and State
Governments about phased resumption in a way that would prevent overcrowding
in the institutions. We commend University of Ilorin and a few other institutions
that have properly articulated their phased resumption plans.

“The education sector embraces the largest percentage of citizens – from kindergarten to postgraduate classes. It is a sector that is most affected by COVID-
19 pandemic. Thus, the consequences of poorly regulated resumption plans amidst
the rising cases of COVID-19 may be catastrophic.”


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