School resumption: NUT meets Thursday over COVID-19 rules, partial compliance recorded

The Nigeria  Union of Teachers on Monday, amid concern about the rising coronavirus cases, said it would on  Thursday hold a meeting on the pandemic and compliance with  COVID-19 protocols in schools across the country.

The Secretary-General of the NUT, Mike Ene, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, as primary and secondary schools in many states reopened with partial compliance with COVID-19 safety rules.

While schools in some states observed safety rules such as social distancing and hand washing, others disregarded them as classrooms were overcrowded.

The NUT Secretary-General, Ene, in the interview with The PUNCH, said Thursday’s meeting would review compliance with COVID-19 protocols with the aim of ensuring safety of teachers and their pupils.

When asked to comment on safety rules in schools, he stated,  “I cannot tell you whether anybody is complying with COVID – 19 protocols in states. I have never asked anybody because since we are all going to speak on it, there is no point calling anybody. We have called a NEC (National Executive Committee) meeting for Thursday to look at how the resumptions have been.”

Earlier in an interview with one of our correspondents, Ene advised teachers to avoid hugging one another.

He said it was the duty of state governments to provide personal protective equipment, adding that the union had directed its members to assess what each state provided.

Ene stated,  “If the government provides everything and there is running water, children know what to do. We have imbibed this practice of washing of hands. All we want is to ensure that there is regular water supply. We should avoid hugging one another and hand shaking.

“Our pupils and students have really wasted time and keeping them at home longer will mean that their brains will be retarded. If markets, where everybody goes are not shut,  I don’t know why schools should be shut.”