The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has expressed worry over the resumption of schools questioning their level of preparedness to reopen for studies amid the surge in COVID-19 cases across the Federation.
Reacting to the decision of the Federal government to reopen schools for the Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3, the NMA maintained that it is better for Nigerian students to stay alive than to study in an environment that could expose them to the danger of COVID-19
In a chat with the vanguard, the NMA President, Prof Innocent Ujah also urged Nigerians to be wary of the development.
“We should be worried about how prepared they are, both federal and state schools. We understand that continuous staying out of school is affecting the students but they need to stay alive.
“The federal and state government should ensure they are protected, but how ready are we? It is not enough to say students should go back to school, the important thing is preparation so that they don’t contract the disease and that is why we talk about temporise, not be in a hurry to open schools unless we are ready and sure that students will not contract the disease. It is parents that are advocating schools resumption, unfortunately, the government is reluctant to take their advice.”
Further, Ujah who lamented the development, said some people calling for resumption are doing so basically because they have not been receiving salary either because they are in a private school or some other challenges.
“It has collateral damage on proprietors and teachers. We cannot continue forever to keep students out of school, but we must be prepared and that is why NMA is saying that we must temporise, until we are ready, and at the moment I don’t see us ready for resumption.”
Corroborating his views, a Professor of Virologist, Prof. Oyewale Tomori queried the situation of schools in the country, adding that reopening of schools would keep increasing the number of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.
According to him, “What is the situation of those to reopen? With the reopening of these schools the number will keep increasing, which school are we talking about? How congested are these schools? I don’t see any curve being flattened.”