The Ebonyi government on Monday in Abakaliki directed schools across the state to observe the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) COVID-19 protocols as schools resumed across the state.
Dr Onyebuchi Chima, Commissioner for Education briefing newsmen said that all necessary measures had been put in place to ensure safety of pupils, students and teachers from contracting the dreaded virus while in school.
He said that team of officials from the Ministry and key stakeholders in the sector would monitor compliance to the the COVID-19 preventive measures by schools.
He explained that tough sanctions would be meted to any school found to compromise the safety of its pupils and students due to negligence to COVID-19 preventive protocols.
He further said that normal academic activities had commenced to ensure that lost grounds were recovered.
He appealed to parents and guardiance to release their children and wards to resume at their various schools while school managements to ensure effective teaching and learning.
“We will monitor our schools to ensure that there are no lapses in compliance to COVID-19 protocol as pupils, students and teachers return for the continuation of first term 2020/2021 academic activities.
“We will do everything within our powers to ensure that our children are protected from the dreaded virus.
“Government has directed that running water, sanitizers are provided by school managements while wearing of facemasks has been made compulsory in all our schools.
“We will not hesitate to sanction any school that violates any of the COVID-19 rules including maintaining social distancing while in school,” Chima said.
Meanwhile, our correspondent reports that normal academic activities commenced in all schools visited in the metropolis with 100 per cent attendance of teachers.
In HolyGhost Foundation Schools along Elias Odili Street off Udemezue Road, teachers were in their various classes teaching their pupils and students with compliance to COVID-19 protocol.
Mr Orji Azu, a teacher in the school told NAN that academic activities started at 8:a.m while many students had resumed for academic activities.
“The school management provided running water at the various entry points in school including the various class rooms while wearing of facemasks is a key requirement before entry into the school,” Azu said.
Also, at the Government Technical College (GTC), normal academic activities resumed with teachers offering their services to the students.
A teacher, Mr Clement Elom, who spoke to our correspondent expressed confidence that both students and teachers would be protected from the deadly novel Coronavirus while in school.
He urged parents and guardiance whose children and wards were yet to return for classes to allow them return to school.
“Enough measures to protect the children from COVID-19 have been put in place and we have a safe environment to study,.
“Social distancing in class rooms are being maintained while the use of facemasks is a key requirement before a person is allowed to enter into the school premises,” Elom said.
Also, in Maris and Lois Academic along Ogbaga Road, Presco Secondary school and Akanu Ibiam Memorial Seminary along Old Enugu Road many students resumed for academic activities.
Public and private schools including mission schools in the state were originally slated to resume for the continuation of the first term academic activities on Jan. 4.
The Summitnews recalls that Ebonyi government directed schools to vacate for the Christmas holiday on Dec. 18 after it reopened schools in October with the lifting of lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.