Oyo state government has warned that it will not hesitate to close down public or private schools found not erring the laid down COVID-19 protocols for the safe reopening of schools
This is coming as schools in the State reopened for another term, on Monday, 11th of January.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, who stated this while featuring on a radio programme on Monday, noted that before the end of the previous term, the state government had provided grants to public secondary schools to enable them to get infrared thermometers, establish washing hand points and put in place other necessary protocols for the safety of learners as well as their instructors.
This is as he added that schools had been encouraged to utilise structures like libraries, laboratories and halls as classrooms, especially for compulsory subjects, to effect social distancing.
He, however, assured that primary schools will also get their grants as soon as the issue of transparency and accountability in last grants received is resolved.
Addressing fears on the reopening amid the second wave of the pandemic, Olaleye affirmed that the decision of the state government was informed by deep thinking and critical analysis of the situation.
He added that the state government terminated staggered classes for full resumption because it rather focused more on understanding and fighting COVID-19 rather than locking down and stalling the continuation of schooling.
Olaleye also asserted confidence in the management of schools to ensure safe resumption, adding that only vendors who attended a training organised by the state Ministry of Health are expected to be the ones in school selling food.
Among others, he said schools had been mandated to appoint incident managers to report suspected cases to the Emergency Operating Centre and have a separate place to serve as a sickbay.
Olaleye said local inspectors of education were also told to monitor schools and report incidences to the state Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, in adherence to the government’s directive, schools reopened in the state with handwashing facilities spotted in some schools while students and teachers were seen wearing face masks.