By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Schools in Lagos State have been advised to adopt flexible teaching and learning plans as they prepare to reopen this month after being forced to shut down since March 2020 due to COVID-19.
At a two-day training for school leaders and educators of public and private primary and secondary schools in the state, the Director-General of Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, also urged school leaders to have a qualitative safety plan that will help protect students, teachers and workers as schools reopen in the state.
She said there should be a plan for students and teachers, who feel sick, can teach or learn from home via an online platform, stressing that schools must be willing and ready to close or shut down briefly should there be a case of COVID-19 occurrence in the school premises.
“It is not enough to reopen but to remain open since some schools across the world had to shut down after reopening due to a spike in the pandemic.
“All schools must make efforts to comply with these requirements, not just for the improvement of the overall school operations but for safe reopening for academic activities to support the Lagos State government’s quest for a full return,” Mrs Seriki-Ayeni said at the event tagged Moving Forward: A Training For The Safe Reopening Of Lagos State Public And Private Schools.
Another speaker at the programme, Mrs Olanrewaju Oniyitan, who is the CEO of W-Holistic Business Solutions, implored the school leaders to ensure safe physical distancing while at school as well as embrace outdoor classes, staggered attendance, platooning or alternative attendance, among others, in collaboration with parents to adopt a safe, secure and convenient learning style.
She also harped on the importance of other safety plans like having the telephone numbers of parents in their database for unforeseen medical emergencies.
On his part, the Infection Prevention Control Team Leader in Lagos State, Dr Adefolarin Opawoye, emphasised that schools must have an isolation/holding bay to care for medical emergencies should students come up with symptoms such as cough, headache, catarrh, difficulty in breathing, sneezing and fever.
He explained that COVID-19 can only be transmitted by droplets, hence, the emphasis on the proper use of face masks and advised against a sitting arrangement where students or pupils sit facing each other.
According to Mr Opawoye, schools must be careful because the state cannot afford to be careless at this time when the pandemic is at a flat curve in the community transmission stage, emphasising that any carefree act could negate efforts made so far to avoid a spike.
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