COVID-19 keeps throwing its deadly blow in the side of the Education sector more than elsewhere. Schools in Nigeria remain closed, final examinations are pending and no man in authority is speaking the way of reopening schools. Teachers of Nigerian schools are left to begging or being buried by pride of what they call self esteem.
The risk of reopening schools at a time like this is high but less than keeping the children at home. The children love to play when not engaged in work or study. The lockdown is over in some other sectors, but not in Nigerian schools, and parents now go to work except the teachers. Who watches over the children, monitors where they go and what they do?
Many schools and families in Nigeria have turned to virtual classes. Some families at this time cannot afford sponsoring virtual lessons. Therefore, their children or wards are denied learning. The truth is that many schools are in the practice of running tutorials during the period to keep their teachers and students engaged. What we disallowed officially is being informally rendered.
Teachers employed in Nigerian private schools far outnumber the number in public schools. The effect on aggregate income and consumption cannot be disregarded.
While the well-being of children and quality health care is paramount to the authority, continued closure of Nigerian schools may remain inimical and unprogressive, as it is only caging us in fear.
What the government should rather pay attention to is the engagement of Health and Sanitation officers and provision of sanitary infrastructures in schools.
Schools should hence be made to open to a limited time not exceeding 2.00pm a day. The thought and urge that schools remain closed until conditions are safe is not healthy; there may never be a time safe enough.
In a bid to help the education of children in Nigeria, the Telecom service providers should be magnanimous to the effect of reducing tariffs on data.
Teachers should build capacity and skill on handling virtual classes, and hence use it to complement the physical classes. Let schools in Nigeria open.