…As Proprietors Express Readiness To Resume
…Give Options For Covid-19 Test
What can best be described as a public outcry appears to have taken a center stage in Imo following Government ‘s indecision over the actual date for school’s resumption in Imo after Osuagwu months of lockdown occasioned by covid -19 pandemic.
While some others have already resumed others have fixed dates for resumption, Imo state is yet to communicate it’s citizens particularly the students on a date for resumption.
While students were preparing to resume schools last Monday being September 21. The commissioner for Information in Imo, Declan Emelumba issued a release where he informed Imo people that the state Government had deferred the resumption of all schools in Imo.
According to Government’s spokesman, the reason for the said postponement was to enable the Government to conclude the ongoing community cOVID-19 test to ascertain the level of the dreaded disease in Imo with a view of finding a solution.
This release by the Government, however, generated dust in the state as people particularly parents began to query the rationale behind the testing which ought to have been done and concluded before now other states have resumed academics.
While parents were embittered with the development, private school proprietors have not seized to call on the state Government to see the need and urgency of resuming Imo schools along side other states.
Proprietors of schools in Imo have also informed the state Government of their readiness to resume schools with immediate effect.
Over the weekend, a non Governmental organization in Imo with the appellation, “Imo indigenes of good conscience accused the state Government of being nonchalant and indifferent to the yearning of students despite federal Government’s directives for immediate resumption of schools.
In an interview with the Commissioner for Education, Prof.B.T.O Ikegwuoha, he told lead, that schools in the state shall remain closed until government concludes with its ongoing person-to-person, house-to-house and community-to-community Covid-19 pandemic testing across the state, disclosing that after data is collected which according to him, would be rounded- off in next two weeks, they will now take a decision.
Meanwhile, the Imo State Chairman of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, Chief Theophilus Mbakwe, in a release, noted, that the whole step and approach so far taken by the state government is far below expectations and standard. He said, that taking into consideration the whole scenario and taking proper account and critical analysis of the actions of the govt. so far on resumption, that it does not show sensitivity to the education sector. “It may sound reasonable the idea of the govt. insisting that there must be a comprehensive community test on COVID-19 before kicking off resumption but the area the government is missing it is not giving full details of how and when to round up with the exercise”.
Hon. Theo explained that as stakeholders in the field of education especially in the private sector, it seems not to be organized and well-articulated.In the first place, this would have been started as soon as the federal government stated that Schools are to start reopening from the 21st of September or even before now.
“The release reads, ” The habit of not being able to forecast well by the state government in issues that have to do with education has posed a lot of criticisms on most of their policies. I must have to speak out because it is high time we learn to do the right thing at the right time. The great educator says that that worth doing is worth doing well.I don’t want to believe the fact that it is because the public school’s teachers have not been paid for several months is why the educational system will be allowed to suffer or grumble down in the state. What happens to our allocation and all the rest if so be the case but I don’t think so. If that should be the reason the private schools are bound to play their complementary role which they are known for. The letter from the government to us via the ministry of education is like a gimmick for it doesn’t have full details of the information that shows that Imolities are in line with other states in terms following the academic calendar. Therefore the ministry of health and education should go back and make their schedule clearer and give dates as quickly as possible before the whole situation goes out of hand”.
It is now obvious that they are not considering the future of our children if there is no well-streamlined program for the test. Private schools have lost interest and hope in the whole thing. Most private schools and their households are now like orphans. Most proprietors are left behind on a lonely world. The govt should know that the only solution is to provide palliatives to all private schools if they are to continue with the test that does not have a schedule because our people are already down emotionally, psychologically, and physically. I suggest what am seeing that schools should be opened while the community test continues.
Hon. Chief Theo further said, “One may ask the basis for this my suggestion,. All the states that have announced their dates for resumption did not go for such a test. The just-concluded WASSCE in the state was successfully completed without a test. All churches where both the students, teachers, civil servants, political appointees, traders, and men of all walks of life gather for worship have been open for more than 2 to 3 months now with out community test, even banks and finally, the market places were all intermingled also were not subjected to such test before they started operation. I want to bring to the state government attention once more that the exercise can still be going on while schools are in session.
They just shall live by faith. Let’s go by the popular preventive measures. I am proud today that the private schools (faith-based, corporate, individual and co-proprietors, etc)are more than 90 percent ready. Our level of preparedness is great.