The Lagos State Government has mandated that all private and public schools remain closed to protect pupils from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs.Folasade Adefisayo reiterated Lagos State’s stand on the matter saying:
“The Ministry wishes to state categorically that all schools in Lagos State remain closed and have not yet been opened for the third term. The State continues to offer free teachings on various media, especially radio and television.
“Plans are also underway to ensure that our children in public schools are able to complete their term whenever the lockdown is lifted.
“Parents are concerned about the cost of this programme, ranging from fees charged by schools to the cost of data and devices as well as the cost of fuelling generators to ensure steady electricity power supply. Parents also have to supervise online teachings to guard against the exposure of children to pornography, in addition to online harassment and bullying.
“In view of the aforementioned, we ask that schools consult extensively with parents and find a win-win solution that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.”
With this order, no school in Lagos State dare think about reopening. Most schools have now adopted teaching via online.
In other parts of the world, despite COVID-19 related warnings, some schools have stubbornly reopened and are welcoming back kids. Their assumption is based on the wrong premise that kids are less likely to contract the virus. The school owners also claim to abide by social distancing rule, wearing of face masks, regular washing of hands and the use of hand sanitizers. But are these good reasons to reopen schools when kids will always crowd around their colleagues and teachers?
Cases around the world have proven that children do contract COVID-19 and children do die from the pandemic. The stark reality of it all is that there is high risk in sending kids back to school when the pandemic is not yet contained.
The New York Times presented two studies showing strong evidence that schools should remain closed for now.
One of the studies came from the Journal of Science whereby a team analyzed data from two cities in China – including Wuhan. The study revealed that kids were about a third susceptible to coronavirus. When the schools reopened, kids were found to have at least three times as many contacts to adults and three times the chances of becoming infected.
According to Marco Ajelli, a mathematical epidemiologist, he said, “My simulation shows that yes if you reopen the schools, you’ll see a big increase in the reproduction number, which is exactly what you don’t want,”
The bottom line is: Keep your kids safe at home. Reopening schools will put children at great risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.