Kunle Adelabu & Mariam Akinloye
It was indeed an excitement galore as pupils and students of both private and public schools resumed back to school on Monday, September 21, 2020, after several months of staying at home due to the outbreak of the COVID – 19 pandemic earlier this year.
Following the government’s directive to reopen schools, many private schools reopened there primary and secondary schools, while the pre – primary classes remained still shut in compliance with the Lagos State Government directive.
While observing activities following the resumption, THE IMPACT noted that some of the private schools did not observe the morning assembly gathering in compliance with the COVID – 19 protocol on social distancing.
At the Kith and Kin Educational Schools (KKES), our reporter was allowed to observe the classroom arrangement and facilities provided in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols and was also allowed to speak with some of the students who shared their experiences during the lockdown.
During the visit, our reporter witnessed the use of the Thermometer equipment by the school’s security guards to check the temperature of the students, staff and parents at the main entrance before entering the premises, while hand washing points were made available at strategic locations within the school premises.
The management of the school also ensured the maintenance of social distancing in the classrooms.
Meanwhile, some of the KKES students, while speaking with our reporter, expressed their excitement over the resumption and the opportunity of seeing their friends again. They also stated that they are adapting to the new normal which they said is for their safety.
Miss Ogunjemia Eniola, a Senior Secondary School 3 student, said that she was excited to see her teachers and friends upon resuming to school.
“I feel excited to see my friends again, and also my teachers. Since we came back, they have actually made us safe in school. My brother and l were actually scared when we were resuming, but our school abides with all the government directives.
“In our school, you are now to observe individual prayers instead of gathering all of us at the same place for that. We are now encouraged to pray on our own so as to ensure social distancing.
“Also, we no longer go to the cafeteria for lunch, instead, our breakfast was brought to us in our various classes to avoid crowding.
“Generally, I am enjoying being back in school”.
She said that the new ways of co-existing the in school is hard but agreed that it is in their own best interest.
“Well, it is hard to cope with the current situation because we have to wear face masks most of the time which is not quite easy, but we know that everything’s been done for our safety. So, we try to follow all the rules and anybody that’s not following those rules gets punished accordingly”, she said.
Another SSS 3 student, Nneka Chidedera, said that her experience at home in the last six months was not bad but expressed her excitement at being back in school with her friends.
“The experience was not so bad. Due to the pandemic, we were asked to stay at home and movement was restricted. It was okay.
“I feel good to see all the old faces. It’s great to be able to co-exist with my friends again”.
She said that they have been asked to maintain the COVID – 19 protocols upon resuming back in school.
“We have been asked to maintain social distancing, wash our hands, use sanitizer and wear face masks or shields. We are going to get used to all these sir”, she added.
Miss Dopemu Toluwani, SSS 3 student, said that resuming back in school after many months excites her, and also stated that adhering to the strict COVID – 19 protocols is somehow inconvenient.
“I am really excited to be with my friends and learning again in school, but at the same time, measures that have been put in place by the school like the physical distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands and applying sanitiser and others are somewhat inconvenient” she said.
“We know that it is necessary and important that the school abide with the rules because it makes us feel safe to be in school. It’s been really nice to be back again”.
Recalling her experiences while at home during the lockdown, Tolu, who said that she plans to be a motivational speaker, revealed that she has been engaging in talking to people going through challenges.
“Apart from reading, I started a motivational account whereby I speak with people that are going through the challenges of the COVID – 19 which has made people really scared. I engage in this just to push people more to succeed; be happy, be more positive towards their life. I have been watching a lot of motivational videos because I am aspiring to be a motivational speaker”.
She added that the pandemic has made her realise a hidden aspect of her person.
“Aside the difficulty in going out, especially to the (shopping) mall and having to clean all the time, the period has helped me to realize a part of me that I did not know before.
“I learnt a lot of things during the six months, and in our school, we have improved technologically ever since the outbreak of the COVID – 19 pandemic. Apart from the fact that the pandemic was bad, it has also brought a lot of good things to us”, she added.
At HOMAT Private School in Igbogbo where our reporters also visited, the management provided a thermometer at the school gate while hand washing machines were also made available at strategic sections within the school premises.
The Proprietor of the school, Alhaji Wale Amusa, told our reporters that the school has complied with all the necessary requirements for school re-opening as stipulated by the government.