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Students back FG on school closure, caution LASG, others against reopening

By Idowu Abdullahi,

Worried by proposed reopening of school across the federation, the Lagos State chapter of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria has cautioned state governments, particularly Lagos state government against what it described as “hasty” reopening of schools in the country.

The state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had disclosed that private and public secondary schools would partially be reopened on August 3rd for students in transition classes of Senior Secondary school three and Technical class three to commence revision classes ahead their examination.

However, the Amir (president) of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr Saheed Ashafa, while reacting to the Federal Government’s decision not to allow students to sit for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the country, urged state governments on need to ensure that schools are reopened when coast is clear for safe reopening.

Through a statement released to newsmen on Thursday, Ashafa, also queried the motive of reopening schools for graduating students’ in the country over “external pressure” from WAEC.

According to him, many schools lack adequate facilities that will enable them to comply with the COVID-19 preventive guidelines.

“Since the government is expected to protect the lives of the people, it should weigh the available options, do the analysis and come out with a conclusion on whether it is more beneficial to take examinations at this moment or not, rather than following a bandwagon announcement of school reopening.

“It may be honourable for the state to toe the line of the Federal Government by cancelling its plans to reopen schools for graduating students.

“We also understand that WAEC has assured the public of ensuring the best of COVID-19 protocols, but what about the mental wellness of the students, who will be between passing their examinations and being very cautious of not contracting COVID-19?

“However, we are certain that it will not benefit anybody; parents, students, government, and the nation to approve the taking of exams and lose lives. Inasmuch as we all want to get over COVID-19, we should be cautious of the hasty reopening of schools,” the statement read.

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