The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has said reopening schools now will further spread the coronavirus in the country because of the nation’s weak health system and the very low risk perception of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Head, Risk Communication, NCDC, Dr. Yahya Disu, who made this known during a webinar hosted by the Plan International Nigeria’s Country Director, Hussaini Abdu, with support from the European Union, said with the onset of the wet season which came along with an increase in flu-like diseases, children were at the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 if schools were reopened now.
Disu stated that reopening schools would further spread the disease as there was no good level of compliance.
He explained that the risk perception by the public was still very low because the nation’s population structure consisted mostly of youths who might have the disease and not have symptoms.
The NCDC Risk Communication Head added that since majority of pupils would go to school in vehicles and the transport system was known to have poor record of compliance, there was the possibility that school children would also not comply with the stipulated protocols, which could spell danger among them.
Also at the session entitled: Rethinking Education: Perspective and Challenges of Remote and Alternative Learning in COVID-19 Pandemic, Profesdor Mabel Evwierhoma of the University of Abuja suggested that the government should take a cue from some private higher institutions of learning by investing in blended or mixed learning to surmount the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Evwierhoma also charged the institutions to develop campus radios to support remote learning in higher institutions.