NMA kicks as Govts. Orders exit class pupils to resume Aug 4
The Federal Government on Monday said this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) will begin on August 17.
It asked schools to reopen for graduating pupils effective August 4 to enable them undergo two weeks revision.
But doctors said they feared for pupils’ safety because of the unbating COVID-19 pandemic.
They said the government is not sufficiently prepared to ensure that pupils do not contract the virus.
President of the NMA Prof. Innocent Ujah, told The Nation that while the children should not be kept at home forever, it is also unwise to expose them to danger.
He said: “At the moment we have not been told what new thing they have done – either the government, the private schools or the proprietors, to ensure the safety of the students. It is only the living that goes to school.
“Nobody knows the course of COVID-19, but then we need to be prepared. We must be very cautious and we must temporise (avoid making a decision or committing oneself in order to gain time).
“If the students are going to school, how are we prepared to ensure that they are protected from COVID-19? We need to be told in clear terms.
“The same parents that have been crying that their children should resume school will be the same people to criticise the government – that the government has not put anything in place and their children are dying.
“At that stage, the government will be brought to ridicule. So, we need to be very careful and balance our agitations in such a way that it does not unduly affect our children.”
The NMA chief noted that safety protocols are being violated by many Nigerians and political office holders.
Ujah added: ”Adults are not complying with the basic guidelines and protocols on hand washing, use of sanitizers, face masks and social distancing. Even those that are supposed to be the leaders are not observing it.
“Therefore, it is clearly obvious that we have failed in the social distancing component of the protocol.
“The NMA is saying that we need to be cautious and temporise. However, the government has taken a decision and the government will carry the responsibility of whatever happens to the children.
“Both Federal and state governments must be prepared to take on responsibility for whatever happens to any of them.”