As academic activities commenced in the Northeast, schools resumed with strict adherence to the guidelines on COVID-19 safety protocols.
According to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the resumption in Gombe and Adamawa, most schools visited complied with the set guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
A NAN correspondent who monitored the resumption in some of the public and private schools in Gombe, reports that the schools have made adequate provisions of facemask, sanitiser and handwashing facilities to promote compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines.
They include Special Education Centre, Gombe; Hassan Comprehensive Day Secondary School, Gombe; Government Girls Secondary School, Kaltungo, Idi Primary School and Jekadafari Primary Schools, Gombe.
At the Special Education Centre, Gombe, students and teachers were seen wearing facemask in addition to the provision of sanitiser, soap, water and handwashing facilities.
Malam Saidu Jihi-Gadam, the Principal of the school, described the level of compliance to the COVID-19 protocols by the students and teachers as “impressive.”
Jihi-Gadam said that the students were sensitised on the need to observe COVID-19 safety tips to stem the spread of the pandemic.
He said that the students were also encouraged to come along with facemasks and sanitiser when the school resumed.
“Each of the students is wearing a facemask, we have provided detergent and water in strategic locations for regular handwashing.
“We practice social distancing to prevent the students from being exposed and infected,” he said.
Mrs Mairo Mohammed, Principal, Hassan Comprehensive Day Secondary School Gombe, said the school authority had introduced “No facemask No entry” policy.
Mohammed said that students and teachers without facemask were not allowed entry into the school premises.
The school, she said, made provision for water, soap, sanitiser and thermometer for anybody coming into the premises.
“Especially now that our students are sitting for the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), we are strict on compliance,” she said.
Mrs Fati Ishaku, Principal, Government Girls Secondary School, Kaltungo said that her school made provision of water containers and soaps in the premises.
She said that similar items were also provided at the entrance of the school.
“We do not allow students and visitors in to the school premises without waering facemask,” she said.
At Idi and Jekadafari Primary schools all in Gombe, pupils were also seeing wearing facemasks in compliance with the guidelines.
Similarly, there was strict compliance to COVID-19 protocols as schools resumed academic activities in Adamawa.
Malam Abubakar Abbas, Principal, General Murtala Muhammad College, Yola, said that the school was observing social distancing and enforced use of facemasks by students and teachers.
Abbas said that the school management had suspended the general assembly by students as part of measures to ensure effective compliance with the COVID-19 safety guidelines.
He, therefore, urged the state government to provide more soap and sanitiser to the schools.
On her part, Mrs Tumba Abigail, Principal, Government Day Secondary School, Karewa, said the school had constituted a COVID-19 committee to enforce compliance.
Abigail, however, decried the poor attitude of some students towards observing safety protocols, warning that defaulters would be sanctioned
Also commenting, Hajiya Aisha Umar, Permanent Secretary, Adamawa State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, urged parents to provide facemask to their wards while going to school.
Umar said the call was imperative to complement government efforts towards curtailing the spread of the disease.
She said that the state government had distributed soap, facemask, sanitiser and other items to the 2,953 public primary and secondary schools in line with the COVID-19 guidelines.
She said that the government also planned to distribute detergents to promote hand washing in the schools.
According to her, the COVID-19 Committee of the ministry will soon embark on monitoring exercise to enforce compliance in the schools.
“Principals must ensure that their students come with their facemask before entering classrooms and to strictly comply with the protocols,” she said.
However, teachers and students in some schools in Bauchi, Borno and Jigawa States flouted the COVID-19 protocols in spite of the directives enforcing compliance with the safety guidelines.
In Bauchi, teachers and students in some of the schools visited were not observing the safety protocols in spite of the high student population.
Some of the schools visited include Government Day Secondary School, Kofa Wambai; Dan Dika Primary/Junior Secondary School, Tudun Yarima, and the Babamaji Primary School, Tundun Yarima.
The schools which resumed on Monday Sept. 27, flounted the COVID-19 protocols as agains the recommendation by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored resumption at the Government Day Secondary School, Kofa Wambai, reports that only one small bucket of water was provided for handwashing in the school premises.
Students and teachers neither used facemask nor observed social distancing in classes.
Mr Yalwa Hamzar, the Principal, however, said that the school was complying with COVID-19 guidelines.
He said that, “As you can see, I have my facemask and sanitiser, and there is water container at the entrance of the school.”
Reacting, Dr Aliyu Tilde, the state Commissioner for Education, declined comment over the non compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines by some of the schools in Bauchi metropolis.
“I have nothing to say on this,” he said.
More so, public and private schools in Borno and Jigawa States were not complying with COVID-19 protocols in spite of directives by the various state governments.
Schools in Maiduguri metropolis were not enforcing use of facemask, hand washing and physical distancing in defiance to the directives by the state Ministry of Education.
Mr Musa Mohammed, a parent , blamed the situation to the inability of the state government to enforce compliance, adding that the trend militated against effective campaign to control the pandemic.
“COVID-19 vaccination is the main thing now but the issue of observing protocols is history.
“Also, offices and other public places are not observing the safety protocols in the state,” he said.
In Dutse, some of the schools visited were not observing COVID-19 guidelines despite the distribution of over 20,000 facemasks by the Jigawa Government.
Some of the schools visited include Dr Muhammad Nuhu Sunusi Junior Secondary School, Dutse; Government Day Junior Secondary School, Gadadun; Takur Primary School and Jigawar Tsada Primary School.
Others were Dutse Capital Primary School; Government Unity Commercial Secondary School, Dutse and Government Girls Arabic Secondary School, Baure.
To enforce compliance, Jigawa Government on Feb. 17, ordered mandatory use of facemask in public places across the state.
For Aisha Umar, closer working collaboration between the school authorities, School Base Management Base Committees (SBMC) and Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) was necessary to promote effective compliance with COVID-19 guidelines in schools across the region.