Students resumed schools on Tuesday in Benue State amidst low turnout as fear of COVID-19 still pervades the minds of parents.
Our correspondent, who monitored some schools in Makurdi metropolis of the state, observed that there were low turnouts in most of the schools with only few of them recording high turnout.
At Mount Saint Gabriel Secondary School in Makurdi, the school environment was tidy while water, soaps and sanitisers were seen at strategic places in the institution’s premises with everyone wearing face masks.
Principal of the institution, Revd. Fr. John Asen, disclosed that out of the 300 exiting students expected for the Junior and Senior secondary examinations, less than 100 had resumed as at Tuesday afternoon.
“We have fumigated the schools and provided hand sanitizers and hand washing equipment in line with the COVID-19 protocol.
“Our students are being checked in at the gate.
“Our level of compliance is about 99 percent.
“We are expecting almost 300 students back but the number of students that came back today is not yet up to hundred.
“They got the notice just last week,” Asen said.
But at Government College Makurdi, the premises was not yet tidy as grasses still needed to be trimmed despite the presence of many staff.
Principal of the College, Agnes Lang, intimated that all 130 staff of the school had resumed but that only two out of 193 students expected back have so far returned, adding that those two students who have resumed are part of the 43 SS3 students preparing for their final examination.
“I’m not surprise because our school does the exchange program from the 18 northern states apart from Benue.
“Out of 193, only two students have resumed.
“Those who came are indigenous students.
“We have done our part to comply with the COVID-19 protocol.
“Government gave us thermometers and some other equipments like face masks, hand sanitizers.
“The school is yet to be fumigated but the government is working on that.
“The school will definitely be fumigated before the students resume fully.
“The students who came were taught by two teachers before they left,” she said.
The turnout was, however, impressive at the Government Model School where the principal disclosed that the institution took it upon itself to fumigate the environment.
The principal, Usuah Godwin, said social distancing was observed in all the classes while the two thermometer provided by the state government was used to check everyone entering the school gate as means to check COVID-19.
“We have fumigated the school.
“The last fumigation was done last Friday.
“We are expecting 284 Junior and 205 Senior students.
“A good number of students have resumed and revision exercise have commenced.
“We are observing social distancing by ensuring only one student occupies a locker.
“The state government has given us two thermometers but we are expecting hand sanitizers and other things too.
“The students would have to pay for third term,” Usuah added.
Meanwhile, a student of the school, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that all students were asked to bring two facemasks with hand sanitizers.
SUBEB to commence E-learning for pupils
Meanwhile, the Benue State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) will soon commence E-learning for pupils in public primary schools across the 23 local government areas of the state.
Chairman of the Board, Comrade Joseph Utse, made this known on Tuesday during a chat with newsmen in Makurdi.
Utse said the process to actualise the online learning for pupils, who are yet to resume schools occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, was ongoing and will soon be completed.
“We are going to commence E-learning.
“The process is on and soon, pupils at home will begin to learn online.
“There is a committee put in place by the state government to actualise that and they are working assiduously to ensure that online learning for those pupils who are at home will commence,” he said.