Ebola: Parents in Jos refuse pupils from resuming school

Primary school pupils. 2jpg
Primary school pupils used to illustrate the story

In spite of the training on Ebola for teachers in Plateau State, preparatory for resumption on Monday, September 22, most parents still refused their children attending school and most public schools remained closed.

PREMIUM TIMES, on Monday morning, visited elementary schools within Jos, Plateau State, and observed that only a few public schools were open. However, no academic activities were ongoing in most schools at the time of our visit, between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.

At Gyel Primary school, a public school in Jos south local government area, no pupil nor teacher was in the school at the time of our visit.

Similarly, at Dadinkowa public primary school, a few pupils and teachers were seen standing in the school premises.Some of the pupils were sweeping the school compound.

At another public pilot school, Obasanjo Modern School, Hwolshe, also in Jos south local government area, the school was open, but with a few pupils in attendance. However, no academic activity was on.

The situation in Jos North local government area was no different. A public primary and secondary school, Laranto, was near deserted. A few students were seen leaving the school. According to a primary three pupil, Awal Salisu, “Our Aunty (teacher) did not come to school.”

However, most private schools were open, but with a few pupils in schools and academic activities taking place.

At Radiant-way Academy Bukuru, a few pupils and students resumed. School workers were seen cleaning up dust that has accumulated on desk over the period of the long vacation.

Meanwhile, parents, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, said they did not send their wards to school on Monday as a preventive measure against Ebola.

Ezekiel Ponfa, a parent who refused his children attending school Monday, called on government to fumigate all schools as part of measures of preventiing the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.

“If not for anything, all schools should have been fumigated to ensure that the school are free from every disease, not just Ebola before today’s resumption,” he said.

It was observed that the pupils were allowed into almost all schools without adequate medical checks of Ebola on the pupils as directed by the state government last Friday during a sensitisation training workshop on Ebola.

The Plateau State government on Friday last week trained both public and private primary/secondary schools teachers on how to prevent contacting Ebola Virus Disease among pupils and teachers alike.

During the training of the teachers, the Commissioner of Education in the state, Nanle Dashen, said all pupils in school would be tested at the premises before allowing them into classes.

Mr. Dashen said, “Temperature of each child would periodically be tested. Any child, teacher and even other school workers that manifest high fever symptoms should be excused from the school environment.”

On his part, the Commissioner for Health, Fom Dakwat assured, “I want to assure Nigerians that it is safe for us to reopen our schools across Nigeria.

“We are happy that Ebola have been contained in Nigeria, but we will not go to sleep, because our neighbouring countries are still endemic with the disease. And according to the United Nations, it will take 18 months to totally eradicate Ebola in the West African region.”

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