School Bells are Ringing Again
Back to class, for last-year Nigerian students as the Federal Ministry of Education declared the partial opening of secondary-schools across the country from August 4th. The decision comes after a 5-month suspension in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and all schools are to adhere to strict sanitary regulations.
Abigail Sokenu, a final-year secondary student, shared her glee, “I’m very very happy. You know, we’ve been home for long, for over five months now. And we should have been done with the exams since April. Because of the whole pandemic, we weren’t able to write so now I’m so happy that we are back.”
Only those from the graduating class are to return in order to sit the exit-exams, such as the West African Examination Council (WAEC) exam. The WAEC is scheduled to start on 17 August 17th and run till the middle of September. The NABTEB exam will start immediately and run till October. The NECO examination will start on October 10th – about a week to the end of NABTEB, and run through to November. An exit examination is a test that students must pass to graduate from secondary school and these exams are key in sealing the next steps of their academic careers.
Bamidele Oluseun Omotoye, a school principal, detailed the academic activities during the lockdown, “From the second week of the pandemic in March, we’ve been doing R-studies learning, both on TV, on radio, even on Whatsapp and Telegram. Lessons have been going on.”
Students will have two weeks in class to prepare for the graduation assessments and must wear masks, respect social distancing guidelines and make use of the hand sanitiser dispensers and water fountains for handwashing to limit virus infections.
The COVID-19 Situation
Nigeria has 40,532 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 858 deaths and 17,374 recoveries, thus far.
The government eased virus restrictions on June 30 by permitting inter-state travel. Domestic flights resumed a week later and it allowed places of worship to reopen last month at only 50% capacity – and with the government strongly suggesting that the elderly stay home.