COVID-19: Schools Resume in Kano Amidst Inadequate Preparations

Bello Shehu Maude, Hannatu Sulaiman Abba, Musa Sani Aliyu and Hajara Salisu Bako

AREWA AGENDA – In line with the resumption directives given by the Federal Ministry of Education, students of Primary and Secondary Schools across Kano State have on Monday resumed after about eight months stay at home.

A visit across various public schools in the state by Arewa Agenda, indicates that majority of students resumed school with joy and happiness of being in the class once again after a very long break.

However, while some schools complied with the COVID-19 prevention and control protocols especially on social distancing, wearing of face mask, usage of hand sanitizer and thermometer temperature check, other schools have defaulted. This is in addition to inadequate infrastructural arrangements and lack of teaching and learning materials in some schools such as chairs, boards and even paucity of teaching staff.

Ready to Resume

Prior to resumption, some schools were swept and properly cleaned up based on team efforts by the school authorities and the students.

Pupils undergoing temperature check at the school entrance

At Brigade Girls’ Model Primary School, for instance, there was an appreciable level of sanitation and compliance to COVID-19 prevention and control protocols. The Headmistress of Brigade Girls’ Model Primary School, Fatima Abubakar, confirmed to Arewa Agenda that the positive response of students is highly appreciable as almost 90% percent of her students and teachers have fully resumed.

She appreciated the State Government for providing them with COVID-19 response materials such as: Thermometers, face masks and hand sanitizers.

At Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Dukawuya, there was a high turnout of students from the Senior Secondary classes (SSS 3 and SSS 2).There was also strict compliance to social distancing measures. However, they were not provided with face masks. The same was observed at Liman Datti Model Islamiyya Primary School.

Speaking to Arewa Agenda, the Assistant Headmaster of the school, Muhammad S. Muhammad, urged parents to support teachers on cleanliness of their wards and other criteria of the state Government on COVID-19 protocols.

Troubling Inadequacies:

While some schools and learning centers across the State were struggling to meet up compliance with the COVID-19 prevention and control measures, others had more troubling inadequacies to contend.

A visit to Giginyu Primary and Secondary School at Giginyu junction in Nasarawa Local Government Area of the State, the primary section has many classes but in dire need of renovation. There is a classroom project going on at the entrance — courtesy of Hon. Nassir Ali Ahmed, Member Representing Nasarawa Federal Constituency. Nonetheless, there are many more renovation that need to be done with regards to classes, desks, toilets among others.

Meanwhile, the school authority has commended Kano State Refuse Management and Sanitation Board (REMASAB) in helping with schools’ sanitation exercise.

At Government Girls’ Secondary School, Sallari, Tarauni Local Government, there was strict compliance to wearing face mask and social distancing protocols. All the female students were putt on their face masks and those without it were turned back from the entrance.

Some of the female students learning on the bare floor

The school authority confirmed to Arewa Agenda that the Government has provided them with necessary materials except face masks.

Nevertheless, while going round the classes, Arewa Agenda observed that there were no benches in the school for students to sit on and 95 percent of the girls sat on the bare ground. This trend has been persistent for years.

The Principal of the school lamented that students find it difficult to learn that way and it is unhygienic for girls; especially, those on their menstrual period.

Arewa Agenda also obtained photos of pupils learning under the tree in Shara village, Sumaila Local Government Area.

At Sheka Barde and Rigar Kuka Special Primary Schools in Kumbotso Local Government Area, findings reveal that the schools lack adequate facilities that will tackle the spread of COVID-19 among pupils, no evidence of renovation and the infrastructures were inadequate with most pupils sitting on the floor.

A highly placed authority in the school told Arewa Agenda on condition of anonymity that only five schools were marked for renovation in Kumbotso, yet there is no substantial evidence on ground to prove that work has been done despite the 880 Million Naira disbursed for schools’ renovation

Despite Million Disbursed for Renovation:

Arewa Agenda recalls that on the 31st August, 2020, the executive governor of Kano State, His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, disbursed the sum of N880,942,432.38 million in a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of primary schools in all the 44 local government areas of Kano State.

Each of the 44 local government area in the state was issued N20 million through the Community Promotion Committee, CPC to execute the renovation projects.

However, despite a three-week deadline to finish the project, with over five weeks down the line, preliminary investigations suggest that the money has not been put to proper use.

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives

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