The management of Kith & Kins Educational Schools and HOMAT Private Schools have said that they have totally complied with the COVID – 19 Protocols as stipulated by the government for the re – opening of schools.
The two leading private schools that are based in Ikorodu are among some of the schools that resumed full operation on Monday, September 21, 2020, as directed by the Lagos State Government.
While Kith & Kin is based in Owode – Ibeshe, HOMAT, which has several branches across Ikorodu division, has its headquarters in Igbogbo.
The management of both schools spoke with THE IMPACT on the first day of resumption after months of closure by the government due to the COVID – 19 pandemic.
Alhaji Olawale Amusa, the Proprietor of HOMAT Group of Schools and Chairman of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Lagos State Chapter, while speaking with THE IMPACT, said that the school has complied with all that were expected of schools regarding COVlD-19 protocols.
The foremost educationist also stated that their students are in safe hands.
“Before opening, we are required to have online registration which involves training of proprietors, management staff, teachers and other staff of the school and we have done that. This is equally applicable to all schools”, he said.
“Thank God that at the end, schools have resumed today. Our Primary and Secondary sections have resumed. Prior to today, the SSS 3 students were given the opportunity to resume and we were able to put in place necessary measures as stipulated by the government.
“Our SSS 3 students have all completed their WAEC without any problem”.
Speaking in details on the measures taken by the school in assisting government to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the HOMAT proprietor said:
“We have also ensured proper cleaning of our environments and have also fumigated as directed.
“Also, we equally have infrared thermometer for checking the temperature of the students, staff and visitors coming into our schools. We are also ensuring strict compliance with usage of nose masks by everybody.
“If you look around our premises, you will see that we have also placed different banners at strategic positions carrying information on awareness and prevention of COVID – 19 and we have also gotten many hand washing machines and placed them at different locations. This is coupled with the availability of sanitisers”, he said.
“On social distancing, we are complying with the directive by ensuring at least 1.5 to 2metres distance in our classrooms and compound.
“Assembly and all forms of sporting activities or any engagement that will bring so many students and staff together have been suspended for now.
“Also, in complying with the directive, we have our sick bay equipped and manned by qualified medical personnel and have also created a special room to be used as an isolation centre as directed “, Alhaji Amusa added.
He told our reporter that the social distancing directive will not have any negative impact on many private schools because they have already been practicing that before the outbreak of COVID – 19.
“The issue of social distancing will not be a problem to many private schools because the average number of students in a class is 15″.
There are schools that even have special classrooms of about 10 students and our classroom dimension is 20 feet by 20 and the smallest class dimension in our own school is 20 feet by 18”, HOMAT Proprietor said.
“Hardly will you see a private school with 500 populations, so the social distancing will not be any problem for us. We have a population that we can control. We have been giving room for distancing prior to COVID 19 pandemic.
“We have equally informed all our members in NAPPS to adhere to all the guidelines”, he said.
Mr Mulero Ismail Ajiboye, the Principal of the Kith and Kin International College, Ikorodu, while speaking with The IMPACT, said that the school is prepared to cope with the new realities ushered in by the COVID – 19 pandemic.
“We are preparing to cope with the resumption, especially as it concerns the COVID – 19 pandemic protocols. Although, the preparations have been very hectic, but we thank God that we were able to surmount every obstacle in providing all the needed materials in terms of sanitizer, nose masks as well as fumigating all the environment of the school.
“We are all on alert today which is the first day of resumption, all the staff, both the teaching staff and non – teaching staff, are on ground to receive the students”.
The Principal said that the school facility has enough spaces to ensure that more than necessary students gather in a class.
“The facility that we have on ground is big enough and well enough to accommodate the total number of students. We have been able to utilise this advantage in complying with the stipulated protocols, most especially in maintaining social distancing in our classes.
“You can see that students are well seated. We are maintaining at least 2 meters among the students. You can see that the teachers likewise are metres away from their students. We have more than 15 hand washing points presently”, he said while conducting our reporters round the school.
“The management concern when providing our facility was to make the school environment conducive for learning and we have been able to take advantage of it with the current situation as we have enough space to maintain social distancing”.
He commended the school management for providing for the staff during the pandemic lockdown , adding that that has motivated all the staff to resume fully on the first day of resumption.
“We thank God for working with Kith and Kin International College and with somebody like Chief Kaoli Olusanya. I want to say that throughout the pandemic, even though we did not get a full salary, the school was paying us to keep the body and soul together and we thank God that we were able to survive the pandemic”, he said thankfully.
“This has encouraged our staff to resume back to school today. You can see that lectures have started today. If they had not been well motivated during the lockdown, I don’t think we will be able to have them around for the resumption”.
Also, the Head Teacher of the Kith and Kin Nursery and Primary Schools, Mr Julius Aregbesoji, also assured that pupils in the primary section of the school are in good hands.
“Our preparations for the resumption actually started last week when we had a seminar for our teachers and other staff of the school on the COVID – 19 protocols and what are expected of them in the school environment.
“After the seminar, we tried to put all the necessary things in place. When you were coming into the premises, you would have noticed that right from the main entrance, all the security men and our health officials are there to check your temperature and not only that, we also have a space over there (pointing to a hand washing point) where we wash our hands with hand sanitizers.
“In maintaining social distancing, we have suspended assembly gathering and even morning prayer was not observed this morning because we really want to maintain social distancing.
“Aside that, we try as much as possible to reduce the number of people coming into the school premises. We allow parents to drop their children at the gate and we take them into the classrooms. So far so good, we have been good in the school as far as the first day of resumption is concerned and we hope to sustain this as long as necessary”, he said.
In compliance with the stipulated regulations, the Head teacher said that the pupils in pre – school classes are yet to resume, while adding that pupils from Basic one to six that have resumed have been taught how to conduct their affairs in the new normal.
“In accordance with the government’s directives, our pre – school pupils (the nursery and kindergarten) have not yet resumed. Those that we have now are pupils from Basic one to six”.
Mr Aregbesoji said that children in his care have been well sensitized on what is required of them in their interactions with others within the school.
“As the head of the school, I had gone round the classes to talk to the pupils about safety when they enter the school. They know that they have to wash their hands before they eat, after going to the toilet and doing other things.
“I have also told them about the importance of nose masks. You know children are very fun when they see what they like from their friends. They can collect it, but they have been told not to exchange anything, especially their facemasks.
“They have also been told how to use their facemasks when they are in class receiving lessons and whenever they want to talk”.
Speaking on the welfare of their teachers in the last six months that schools were shut, Mr Aregbesoji said that the management of the KKES has been good to staff by seeing to their welfare.
“It has been good, although, we all know the effect of the pandemic worldwide. The challenges have been enormous, but the school management has been so good to us. They have been able to meet up with some basic needs of the staff.
“We had Google classes while we were at home during the lockdown. Teachers still had online contacts with their pupils and we couldn’t have done that without them being paid. The management have been so good to us by given the teachers something to keep them fit and they did that throughout the six months of the lockdown”.