Hint From Few States in Nigeria:
Although a hand-ful of pupils and students in public schools reported to schools, yesterday, academic activities did not kick off due to fear of Ebola disease.
A visit to Enugu metropolis showed there was palpable fear over the dreaded Ebola disease. A female teacher told Vanguard at Urban Girls Secondary School, New Layout that “for now, we are just pretending to have resumed.
“The students that came to school as you can see have been asked to clean the school premises. Everywhere is so dirty after more than two months break.
“For us as teachers, we are prepared to deliver our best. We hope government will get these things (safety kits) ready before the weekend.”
The Public Relations Officer, PRO, Ministry of Education, Mr. Chris Chime, in a telephone interview, said: “We will deliver the equipment to all schools in the 472 communitie, midweek.”
Schools remained closed in states including Oyo, Ogun, Rivers, Kano, Kwara, Zamfara, Niger and Osun as teachers and pupils did not resume in compliance with their state governments’directive.
However, our correspondents, who monitored the strike, said there was partial resumption of classes in some other states, including Abia State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Controversy had greeted the resumption of schools following the importation of Ebola Virus Disease into the country by an American-Liberian diplomat, Patrick Sawyer, on July 20.
The Nigerian Union of Teachers had directed its members to shun classes until the government provided the EVD kits to ensure that schools were safe for pupils and their teachers.
In Lagos on Monday, although pupils in public schools did not turn up for classes as directed by the state government, some of their counterparts in private institutions resumed.
The state government had asked pupils to resume for the new academic session on October 8.
The Caleb International School, Magodo, and the Sharret Schools, Ejigbo were among some of the schools in the state, whose teachers and pupils reported to classes.
At the Mindset College, a subsidiary of Vineyard Christian Ministries, only its teachers reported for classes.
There was partial compliance over the directive by the Abia State Ministry of Education for public schools in the state to resume on Monday.
Some public school teachers defied the directive, insisting that the government should provide enough EVD kits before they could return to classes.
However, academic activities went on in some schools in Umuahia, the capital of Akwa Ibom State but the few schools that opened experienced low turnout of pupils.
At the Community Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Town, Uyo, its Vice-Principal, Mrs. Eme Udofia, said normal academic activities had resumed fully in the school.
But confusion reigned in Plateau State where the state government said it had approved N93m for the purchase of the EVD kits in schools.
While some public primary and secondary schools resumed, others did not. However, one of our our correspondents, who monitored the exercise, said even the ones that resumed recorded low turnout of pupils.
Meanwhile, teachers at the Federal Government colleges, Ahaoda, Aboloma and Rumuokoro all in Rivers State also failed to resume on Monday in line with the directive of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria.
The association had asked its members to embark on strike to protest the non-payment of their allowances.