Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus illness within the nation, the Federal Government ordered the closure of all faculties and pupils and college students have been at residence since late March this 12 months. The improvement has.led to calls by numerous curiosity teams within the training sector for presidency to shortly handle the problem. In this interview, the National President of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Haruna Danjuma, speaks on the place of the affiliation on the event. Excerpts.
By Adesina Wahab
SCHOOLS in any respect ranges within the nation have been closed for some months now, how do you’re feeling as a dad or mum?
I really feel dangerous as a person and as a dad or mum. However, everyone knows it isn’t a person made drawback and that it’s a worldwide concern. We should, nevertheless, discover a answer that’s related to our scenario within the nation. The scenario within the nation deserves options which are peculiar to our issues. I simply hope that we’d get an answer to the issue as quickly as attainable. We are frightened that valuable time is being wasted and our youngsters are caught resulting from no fault of theirs.
Some persons are expressing the worry that the lengthy closure of faculties can result in the waning of the curiosity of scholars in training and enhance the variety of out-of-school youngsters, what’s your take?
It is a pity, as the present scenario could ultimately result in a rise within the variety of out-of-school youngsters in most elements of the nation. Pupils and college students despatched again residence are already mixing with some individuals who haven’t been to highschool. Some of these they’re mixing with are drug addicts and after they combine with such individuals they’ll affect the scholars negatively. This is a good concern to us. We are frightened. While authorities is making an attempt to scale back the variety of out-of-school youngsters, others are in all probability going to hitch them. Let the federal government give you a timeline of tips on how to open the faculties and as an affiliation, we’re assuring the federal government that we’ll abide with no matter phrases and circumstances the federal government put ahead. We need our youngsters to return to highschool.
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How would you like the federal government to deal with the present scenario?
Government ought to as a matter of seriousness take into consideration the way in which ahead and discover a method that this drawback might be solved. We can not proceed to face on the identical spot eternally. NAPTAN is prepared always to do our greatest and our personal half to get the sector going ahead.
Recently, the Federal Ministry of Education despatched a doc to the National Assembly itemizing the circumstances to be met earlier than faculties are reopened, how do you see these necessities?
The situation listed are stringent and actually, it’s the accountability of the federal government to supply these amenities in public faculties. As dad and mom, we’re able to comply with laid down guidelines and assist in offering a few of these issues. Such shouldn’t be unusual to us. During the outbreak of Ebola, NAPTAN was not omitted within the efforts to make our faculties protected for all. In this case, we’re able to assist in the supply of sanitizers, nostril masks, Infrared thermometers amongst others. Concerning the supply of isolation centres and clinics, some public boarding faculties can meet that.
Concerning over-crowding in faculties, authorities can introduce the shift system. A set of scholars and pupils can go to highschool from 8am to 11am, one other set from 11am to 2pm and one other from 2pm to 5pm. Most issues are solved by proffering quick, medium and long run options. If we are saying we’ve got to attend till authorities offers sufficient lecture rooms via the Universal Basic Education Commission and State Universal Basic Education Boards, that will take a very long time. It is straightforward and we should always not confuse ourselves. Let the federal government give the timeline that faculties will reopen.
Ghana just lately introduced that secondary college college students ready to jot down their closing examinations would quickly resume, are you going to counsel that to the Nigerian authorities?
Various stakeholders within the sector have made numerous ideas to the federal government and we weren’t omitted. We have urged prior to now that college students in terminal lessons ought to be allowed to renew lessons. They could have sufficient house to make use of since others could not resume with them and they might be ready for WAEC NECO and NABTEB examinations. If this isn’t accomplished lots of them will lose out within the admission course of to tertiary establishments that can begin quickly. It shouldn’t be all of them which have already made their O Level outcomes.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board got here out few days in the past with its benchmark for admission to tertiary establishments, with 160 marks out of 400 being benchmark for college, some.have described it as a sign that the usual of training is falling, is that so?
From.my understanding of the coverage, the benchmark is simply to information the establishments. It shouldn’t be that the candidates aren’t anticipated to attain larger marks to safe admission. There will certainly be competitors among the many admission seekers. A candidate with 180 marks will likely be thought-about above the one which scored 160 marks.