The Federal Government through the Ministry of Education shut down all the schools, primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions nationwide, in order to combat the spread of coronavirus in the country. Schools were shut down on or before the 26th of March, 2020.
It's more than 3 months children have been at home, many people have died as a result of complications from COVID-19 infection, a huge sum of an amount of money had been used by Federal Government to combat the epidemic. After spending weeks at home, many have been looking forward to the day they will resume back to school, especially those in the terminal classes.
However, it was difficult for many to understand when the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, announced that “Schools under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education will not reopen on August 4 or any time soon.” It generated a lot of mixed reactions nationwide, many are of the opinion that school should be reopened since public places like markets and places of worship had been opened, while some are considering how safe it is for children to go back to school. This article is written to highlight three reasons why the federal government should not be pressured into reopening back the schools.
1. The potential outbreak of coronavirus infection: If the government should be pressured into reopening of schools when not safe, all it takes is just a single infected child to have contact with other children in a class, then it spreads among the other children, the children will take it back to their parents, the multiplier effect sets in. In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus infection will double up to the extent that measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus will be overwhelmed. Many are of the opinion that necessary provisions can be put in place in our different schools to prevent an outbreak, the truth is, can this be practiced among the younger children in the early classes? Can all schools afford to put these measures in place?
2. Inadequate facilities to cope with aftermath effects: When a decision that affects the lives of future leaders is about to be taken, it should be thoroughly analysed. Those that are clamouring for schools to reopen haven't considered these questions, what if there should be an outbreak, how do we go about it? Do we have the facilities to handle any boom in cases of coronavirus infection? The number of children in schools in Nigeria runs into millions, do we have isolation centers that can contain a million? It is important to point out that Nigeria as a country has not done up to 2 million coronavirus tests.
3. Possibility of the massive increase in expenditure: The government has deployed a huge amount of resources in combating the epidemic, there is a high possibility of a massive increase in the expenditure of the government if school opens and there is an outbreak. The government will have to spend a huge amount of money in setting up isolation centers, purchasing necessary equipment on a large scale. This will leave a lasting effect on the already struggling economy.
I am of the opinion that the government is in a better position to determine when safe for the children to return back to school, it could be very costly for private individuals to mount unnecessary pressure on the government to reopen the schools.
Dear Reader, should the government reopen the schools even when the safety of children is not guaranteed?
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