Why COVID-19 schools decontamination project is a waste of Nigerian resources

By Olusegun Aluko on 08/05/2020

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A very good day fellow Nigerians. This is a very special voice note. And please I want you to try and understand what I am trying to say because it is important for all of us. My name is Olusegun Aluko. I am the chairman of Maravilla Schools. By training I am also a Botany microbiologist who took a few courses in Virology. 

As regards COVID-19, I have also done a few studies, but COVID- 19 is pretty straightforward. I read in Punch Newspapers on the 5th of May 2020 that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, together with the Minister of Education and of course through the Minister of Health too were trying to do a decontamination of our schools to make it COVID-19-save. 

Basic knowledge, according to the World Health Organisation, puts it out that the virus survives only four hours on copper, less than 24 hours on cardboard, about 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel. And a Nigerian Doctor on the frontline, who is very well respected, puts the survival of the virus at nine hours maximum, outside the living host within Nigeria and he said clearly that the virus will hardly survive 24 hours outside a living host in this country. 

So with this kind of knowledge effectively all schools in Nigeria were shut down before 30th of March 2020 and by 30th of May 2020 (I’m sure no school is going to resume before then), the schools would have been closed for about 60 days at least. So, why do you want to decontaminate schools? Who went to contaminate them? Why do you want to waste the resources? 

This is just an appeal. I am not trying to prove knowledge. I am just trying to appeal that the resources that will be put to use for this decontamination should please be rechanneled. 

As we speak, the schools were shut down during the second term examination. So, usually school collect more of the school fees from parents during the examination period and also at the point of collection of results. All these did not happen because schools could not write most of their exams. 

So, for the month of March, very few school staff were paid. For the month of April, I can categorically tell you that likely 30 per cent can get anything what looks like payment from the school where they work, for the schools do not have that kind of money for they did not collect money from parents.

In the month of May, there will be most likely zero payment from almost 100 per cent of the schools. What happens to all the school staff, teaching and non- teaching staff? The resources that will be used for decontamination should be please rechanneled, such that they will help to alleviate the pressure on these institutions. 

Now schools are going online. They did not prepare to go online to educate children. No school can charge more than between 20 – 35 per cent of their regular fees for online classes. It will be pretty difficult, because parents did not plan for it, so they may not be paying. So when you are charging 10- 25 per cent of your regular fees, how do you pay the staff? So there is already a crisis in that sector. 

What government should be doing right now is looking at how they can do a stimulus package for these schools to help them to alleviate the pressure and the sufferings. Even if the contamination money will be used to purchase food stuffs, basic food stuffs and given to some schools to give to their staff that will go a long way. 

I do not think we need any form of decontamination from Government at any point. The schools are already decontaminated. By extension, people's pockets and stomachs have been decontaminated, their banks have been decontaminated already. So, we just need the Government to see how they can put together a stimulus package. 

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But the truth is, many teachers and school staff will not be paid till the end of COVID-19, effective from May. So, if it extends to August or thereabouts, what happens to these staff? 

Then what it means, when schools resume, is that many of the staff that are lucky to be alive and well, may not resume with the schools, because, they would have lost those employees. Schools may have shortage of staff. Then, many of the children may not be able to come back to school because their parents may have been out of work.

There will be no money to pay school fees so they will be home. So what it means is that out of school children will likely increase. I am sure we need to look at these projections. How can we ensure that when schools resume there will be more children in school? And we all agree that the backbone of Nigerian's educational system is the private schools. So you need to help them at some point.

This is a very simple understanding of mine. I want to please appeal to those in authority, let us share this voice note as much as we can,  so it can get to those taking these decisions. 

Please decontamination of schools is unnecessary. Any school that is shut down for two weeks is automatically decontaminated already. Thank you so much God Bless our Country Nigeria.

 

 

 

Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on May, 8 2020

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