The Lagos Chapter Chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Comrade Adesegun Raheem, has reiterated the union’s resolve that teachers would only resume school on 22 September, as directed by the Federal Government, if preventive materials were provided in all schools to minimise the risk of contacting the virus.
Raheem said this in an interview with Sunrise Daily on Friday, insisting that nothing had changed about the chapter’s decision to resume school on 22 September.
“We actually spoke with the government and we reminded them of the meeting they had with the Minister of Education on the safety requirements and preventive gadgets that must be put in place in our schools, before school resumes,” he said, noting that “if those things are there, we will resume”.
Raheem disclosed that a government official had informed him about the provision of some of the gadgets and that they would be distributed on Friday (today).
He added that the Lagos NUT has sent a delegation to look into it and if the gadgets were distributed in their actual number and in normal quantity, then 22 September will be a deal.
The chairman also noted that the Union had initially asked the Federal Government to constitute a stakeholders meeting which will have all those concerned in attendance and then, a comprehensive solution can be found to the problem.
He explained that if they had prevented the situation from the beginning, the situation they have found themselves now wouldn’t have been.
He expressed appreciation to Lagos State government for providing some of the materials needed, with a further promise to providing the remainder on Friday.
“They said that some would be provided today. There’s still time. Today is Friday. Monday is about three days away. If they are provided and in their right quantity, we will resume,” he stated.
He stressed that hand gloves, sanitisers, running water, soap and infrared thermometer scanners are the major items they have requested for.
Before now, the moment a child tells you (in school), he or she is sick, the first thing you want to do is feel the temperature and medical officials have told us that it is important that when somebody is sick, don’t touch. Don’t even move close, until that person is certified to be Ebola Virus negativ.”
Raheem, therefore, called for teachers and students enlightenment concerning the disease. This, he said, would curtail the spread of the fear of Ebola.
According to him, the Lagos state government had conducted about three seminars and some teachers were invited; adding that teachers have been designated as emergency desk officers in some schools.
There are about 1,300 primary and about 500 secondary schools owned by the Lagos State Government. These schools and more need to be provided with the necessary gadgets in the fight against Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.