The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria in Lagos State has cautioned against “hasty” reopening of schools in Lagos State.
The Amir (president) of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr Saheed Ashafa, made this known in a press statement on Thursday.
He said this 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.
He cautioned that schools should only be reopened when adequate preparations have been made.
According to him, many schools lack adequate facilities that will enable them to comply with the COVID-19 preventive guidelines.
He also queried the motive of reopening schools for graduating students’ over “external pressure” from WAEC.
He said, “According to the NCDC (https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/), as of Thursday, July 9, 2020, Lagos has recorded 11,670 confirmed cases of coronavirus, out of which 133 are dead and 1,701 have recovered. This means that there are still 9,836 active cases of coronavirus in Lagos.
“From data gotten via the World Health Organisation website, Lagos has more cases than all other countries taking WASSCE, except Ghana. The state has, however, recorded more deaths than Ghana. In fact, if the COVID-19 cases in all other countries taking WASSCE, except Ghana are added together, Lagos will still have more COVID-19 cases.
“While Ghana has 22,822 cumulative cases, 129 deaths, 5,129 active cases, 17,564 recoveries; Sierra Leone has 1572 cumulative cases and 63 deaths; The Gambia has 63 cumulative cases, three deaths, 28 active cases and 32 recoveries; and Liberia has 926 cumulative cases, 41 deaths with 490 active cases. (Source: https://who.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0c9b3a8b68d0437a8cf28581e9c063a9)
“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.”