By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
Ahead of today’s resumption of public and private secondary and tertiary institutions in Rivers State, the state government has distributed Covid-19 non-pharmaceutical kits to over 500 public schools in the state.
This is as it expressed it’s commitment to the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic in public and private schools in the state.
Addressing principals of public secondary schools in the state, during the distribution of the kits, the commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, said the state government was concerned about the safety of students as schools reopen.
Ebeku stated that distribution of the materials ahead of schools reopening was part of governments efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
He urged the principals to ensure proper use of the items distributed, warning that schools that contravene the COVID-19 guidelines will be sanctioned.
The Education Commissioner said: “The distribution of COVID-19 non-pharmacetical and sanitary materials demonstrates the commitment of His Excellency to the fight against COVID-19.
“We are looking forward eargely for students to return to schools on monday and my candid advice to all of them is to ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
“If any head of school do not enforce Covid-19 protocols as enacted and as explained to them, the consequences will be disastrous for such a person because the person seeks to compromise the health of the society and to flout the directives of the state and that cannot be condoned.”
Also speaking, Chairman of the Taskforce for the Enforcement of COVID-19 Protocols in schools, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, advised the principals to enforce compliance of all directives in their various schools.
Akawor said: “We have all agreed the schools will be reopened. Some of us that will be going to your school is just to confirm whether certain things that will come from government is in place.
“Please whatever that is made available, use them and go back to tour schools and ensure that the students comply with all the protocols.
“Let us ensure that continuously this crusade is carried out so that our people will know. Once you are protected and your brother is protected, it cannot spread.”
In his remarks, the commissioner for Health, Professor Princewill Chike, who sensitized the principals on the dangers of the contact and spread of the virus, admonished them not to live in denial of the existence of the virus, explaining that response to the COVID-19 guidelines impedes the spread.
Chike said: “Whatever you believe, for the sake of the students, teachers and those under you, do not say, COVID-19 does not exist. Covid is an assault on mankind.
“We are all at risk and that risk is that your age is there and it is not a good sign. The effects of this virus may not fully be seen today. What we see around the world is a tip of the iceberg”
“Tell the Children that the virus has no friend, do not respect age, height or religion. The pandemic is all over the world and we are praying that another wave does not come around.
“If we come to any school and your people are not wearing masks. I will take your picture and I will send it to the Governor and they will send you out because you are a problem for every other person.”