Oyo govt to close schools that abuse COVID-19 protocol

Seyi Makinde, Oyo State governor

With schools in the Oyo State reopening for another term, on Monday, the state government has said it will not hesitate to close down public or private schools found not complying with COVID-19 protocols.

State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, stated this while featuring on a programme of an Ibadan based radio station, on Monday.

Speaking, Olaleye said the state government had empowered public secondary schools to get an infrared thermometer, establish washing hand points by releasing grants to them before end of the last term.

This is as he added that schools had been encouraged to utilise structures like libraries, laboratories and halls as classrooms, especially for compulsory subjects, to effect social distancing.

He, however, assured that primary schools will also get their own grants as soon as the issue of transparency and accountability in last grants received is resolved.

Addressing fears on the reopening amidst COVID-19 surge, Olaleye averred that the decision of the state government was informed by deep thinking and critical analysis of the situation.

He added that the state government terminated staggered classes for full resumption because it rather focused more on understanding and fighting COVID-19 rather than locking down and stalling the continuation of schooling.

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Olaleye also asserted confidence in the management of schools to ensure safe resumption, adding that only vendors who attended a training organised by the state Ministry of Health are expected to be the ones in school selling food.

Among others, he said schools had been mandated to appoint incident managers to report suspected cases to the Emergency Operating Centre and have a separate place to serve as such bay.

Olaleye said local inspectors of education were also told to monitor schools and report incidences to the state Ministry of Health.

In adherence to the government’s directive, schools reopened in the state with handwashing facilities spotted in some schools while some students and teachers were seen wearing face masks.

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