By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commended both management of private and public schools over compliance with established COVID-19 safety protocols in their respective institutions.
Malam Leramoh Abdulrazaq, the Acting Secretary/ Director of Administration and Finance (DAF) of the Education Secretariat yesterday, said the schools have made the Administration proud.
He stated this during inspection of schools for new academic session amid the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Leramoh, who led a high-powered team on inspection tour to four Junior and Senior Secondary schools within FCT, commended the level of students’ and teachers’ adherence to the established protocols.
At the Junior Secondary School, Area 11, Garki, which was the first point of call, it was observed that only 50% of students with facemasks were allowed into classrooms for lessons, in compliance with the social distancing protocols.
Other schools visited are government Senior Secondary school and Junior Secondary School, Festival Road in Area 10, Government ScienceTechnical College (GSTC), Area 3, and Regina Pacis College, a private school owned by Catholic church, all located in Garki II, where also wearing of facemasks and temperature check were enforced.
“We are happy and satisfied with what we have seen so far. We have visited a number of public schools, and we have also visited private schools.
“From what we have seen and the interaction we had we the students and teachers, we are satisfied that there is knowledge about COVID-19 and its safety protocols among them.
“And there is high level of compliance in the wearing of nose masks, the awareness that they have to properly and regularly wash their hands, and maintaining social distancing protocols.
“It could also be seen in the sitting arrangement in the classrooms where the population of students per class is reduced in some cases less than half of the normal class size, in order to maintain social distance protocols required”, Leramoh stated.
Furthermore, to ensure compliance across schools in FCT, the Secretary said : “the schools we have visited, and the ones we have not visited, we have a fair knowledge of what is available there. This is because compliance monitoring are multi level.
“We have the school level monitoring of compliance under the leadership of the principals, these are the primary agents of compliance in the schools. Then, of course, the various departments and boards such Secondary Education Board monitoring and inspection unit that moves around to ensure that all the schools are compliant.
He added that in highly populated schools, we introduced shift system – where half of the class will come in the morning and afternoon. So all these are in place to ensure compliance there.
“Where we observed gaps in the system, we call the attention of the school administration to such gaps. We constantly monitor the schools to ensure that they adhere to the instructions that we have given, and where we observed any breach, there is sanctions for such non compliant officer”, he stressed.
On his part, the Principal Governmental Secondary Technical College GSTC, Area 3, Garki II, James Musa Kuta, appreciated the FCTA, Education Secretariat and Department of Science and Technology for the assistance they have rendered to management of schools.
Kuta said: “They have given us sanitisers, nose masks and all the support that we need are being granted by the appropriate quarters.
“What we keep doing everyday is letting everyone know that COVID-19 is real, so we enforce the use of facemasks, hand washing to the extent that we had produced a machine that will assist in promoting hand washing. So don’t joke with the non pharmaceutical protocols, and that is our daily preaching.”
He however noted that the challenges of coping with the new normal are being addressed by the appropriate authorities, as they quickly attend to them (schools) wherever there is an issue.