Association of Local Government of Nigeria in Oyo State has flayed Governor Seyi Makinde over his decision to reopen schools in the state.
ALGON Chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Alesinloye, in a statement, described the idea as counter-productive.
Prince Abass-Aleshinloye said reopening schools might be the wish of many parents, guardians, teachers and students because of the long closure and academic time loss due to the outbreak of COVID-19, but the safety of the pupils should be of utmost importance now.
He said, “The long closure of schools and academic time loss could have been the reason for Governor, Seyi Makinde, to reopen schools, especially for primary six, JSS3 and SS3 students on June 29, 2020 for them to prepare for their examinations.
“On the face of it, the governor’s action looks good and responsive to the people’s wish and anxiety. But we hasten to add that wishes and anxiety need to be measured carefully against coordinated verifiable medical and scientific deductions on public health emergency like in the case of COVID-19 pandemic, with its uncertainty, and projection at finding a cure for the global disease.
“As the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has severally declared, the nation is yet to flatten the curve and we are now at the increasing stage of community transmission of the disease.
“The sudden increase in cases of COVID-19 in Oyo State and many other states coupled with high casualty figures is a pointer to the validation of the NCDC position. Hence, the state government should apply great caution in rushing to reopen the schools.
“As it is now, Oyo State COVID-19 random testing capacity is still very low relative to its huge population and the jump in reported cases of COVID-19 creates more anxiety than the eagerness to be back to school.”
The association, therefore, called for a review of the governor’s order on schools reopening, saying, “Life comes before certificate, only the living graduate.”
According to him, taking the risk of school reopening without 100 percent (not less, because they are young) medical assurance of protection and safety of lives of our pupils may be counter- productive.
“Your Excellency, please tarry a bit; May Oyo State not lose any of our pupils, our future, to COVID-19 and may we not witness another round of upsurge of the disease.”