A group under the umbrella of Network for Democracy and Development (NDD) on Sunday called on government at all levels to deploy health workers to schools to manage emergencies in view of the spike of COVID-19 infection rates.
The group made the call ahead of resumption of schools across the country, slated for Monday, January 18, 2021.
Tajudeen Alabede, the national coordinator of NDD and Abdul-Wasi Moshood, Director of public affairs, in a statement made available to journalists in Benin City, also urged both federal and state governments to look at the possibilities of providing facilities for online classes.
Alabede, who urged government to declare COVID-19 as a national emergency, noted that the affected sectors should be provided with all the necessary support that they need to cope with the impact of the pandemic.
While advising government to carry out compulsory COVID-19 test for students and staff, he added that the provision of isolation centres in all Local Government Areas in the country would help to ramp up testing of the virus.
The group further asked the government to adopt a strategy for a phase resumption so as to prevent overcrowding within institutions rather than suspending resumption.
He warned that the consequences of poorly regulated resumption plans amid the rising cases of COVID-19 may be catastrophic.
“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”, he noted.
He continued, “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.
“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”.