‘Teachers can’t resume without pupils’

The governor, through Secretary to the State Government, Solo Chukwulobelu, however, said pupils should remain at home, but follow Anambra Teaching on Air through ABS radio, ABS TV and ABS online platforms.

Following the directive,  policy makers met to discuss the post COVID-19 session, including reasons for reopening schools without pupils.

Commissioner for Basic Education Kate Omenugha said teachers were asked to resume in line with the COVID-19 protocol before return of pupils.

She directed teachers to ensure that schools were disinfected and to observe social distancing in arranging lockers and chairs.

According to Omenugha, the protocol required minimising person-to-person contact.

The meeting also resolved to adopt blended learning, using face- to-face and online teaching methods, as well as the free online applications sent in by the Federal Ministry of Education.

Teachers were mandated to wear face mask to access schools to ensure COVID-19 protocol compliance.

Stakeholders flayed the decision, saying it was counter-productive.

They said the state should reconsider the decision.

A primary school teacher, who preferred anonymity, said the directive would amount to waste of money on transportation.

“I wonder what I will be going to school to do as a primary school teacher while pupils remain at home.

“Maybe the government wants us to waste salaries on transportation,” she said.

A lecturer, Dr. Alex Ogujo, said although government might have its reasons, it was illogical to ask teachers and other support staff to resume without pupils.

“They may have their reasons. But for me, I don’t think the logic is sound. Asking teachers …to return to work while students will be absent from class is like telling traders and market people to open and …restricting buyers from going to their shops,” he said.

Dr. Festus Onuegbu said: “Teachers without the students don’t make up a school… everybody should stay back, until a full directive is given…”

Idara Hanson, a university teacher, advised that resuming teachers should be subjected to COVID-19 test to ensure none is infected.

She said: “I don’t think it is purpose-driven asking teachers to resume while students are home. Except they insist they be subjected to COVID-19 test. Otherwise, it will be unsafe…”

A parent, Mrs Lilian Adani, said the state was not considerate asking pupils to follow Anambra Teaching On Air through ABS radio, ABS TV and ABS online platforms as not all students could access virtual learning.

A pupil, Kosiso, said teachers should not resume when pupils are home.

“I feel sad I’ve been out of school for long… But I see no reason why the government should ask teachers to return to work while pupils remain home,” she said.

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