Public school teachers in Ogun on Tuesday demanded the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), infrared thermometers and hand sanitisers among other conditions for reopening of schools in the state.
The state Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr Titilope Adebanjo, gave the conditions while speaking with newsmen at the union’s secretariat in Abeokuta.
Adebanjo insisted that the conditions must be met by the government before schools could reopen in the state.
The chairman also listed disinfection of schools’ premises, provision of running water, training of teachers on how to use thermometers and standby health personnel within a one kilometre radius of schools.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Dapo Abiodun had on Friday declared that religious centres and schools would remain shut for the next two weeks.
The governor, however, said a committee had been set up to engage all stakeholders and develop guidelines for a safe reopening of schools, especially to allow graduating classes resume and write their examinations.
The NUT chairman explained that the conditions were contained in a position paper already presented to the government on how best to ensure safe reopening of schools without jeopardising the health of students.
He dispelled the rumour making the rounds that public school teachers were not ready to resume work, insisting that teachers were tired of staying at home and ready for school reopening.
“As a union, we know that we have a responsibility and this necessitated us to present a position paper to Ogun State Government as we are looking forward for reopening of our schools.
“We hear some opinions somewhere that teachers in public schools are not ready to go back to work. We are saying emphatically that our teachers are ready to go back to work. In fact, we are tired of staying at home.
“The first on the list is to make sure that government fumigate every part of the school environment. And we put it to them also to make sure that they provide infrared thermometers to all our schools at least to get the temperature of our students.
“We also recommended to them that at least within a kilometre of a school, there must be health personnel that in case if there is an emergency, we can easily report to them.
”We are teachers, we are not doctors, we are not nurses. But the most important thing is make sure that PPE is readily available in our schools,” he said.
The NUT chairman, however, urged parents to provide face masks for their children before sending them to school, warning that no one would be allowed into schools without using a face mask.
He expressed optimism that schools would be reopened in the state before the next two weeks if the conditions were met.