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Holders Manchester City beat Newcastle United to cruise into FA Cup semi-finals

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Quarter-finals

Newcastle (UK), June 29, 2020 Kevin de Bruyne’s first half penalty kick and a superb strike by Raheem Sterling after the break earned holders Manchester City a comfortable 2-0 win away at Newcastle United on Sunday.

The win, in the weekend’s last FA Cup quarter-final, was the result of Manchester City’s domination.

The domination in the first half was absolute and the only surprise was it took a penalty kick for them to lead at halftime, with De Bruyne slotting home in the 37th minute.

Newcastle United did improve marginally after the break and substitute Dwight Gayle somehow missed a gaping goal.

One minute later, Sterling curled home a delightful effort to seal Manchester City’s progress and set up a semi-final against Arsenal.

It was incredible that all four of this year’s Cup quarter-finals, all played behind closed doors, were won by the away team —– the first time that has happened since 1987.

Manchester United will face Chelsea in the other semi-final.

“We are in the semi-finals. It was not easy to attack against a team defending so deep, but it was a good performance. I am happy to go back to London, to Wembley,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told reporters.

After their midweek defeat at Chelsea, a result that confirmed Liverpool as 2019/2020 English Premier League (EPL) champions, Guardiola’s side were fired up at an empty St James’ Park.

Twenty-five minutes into the tie, Newcastle United had completed only 15 passes and were camped inside their own penalty area as Manchester City toyed with them.

Riyad Mahrez wasted three chances for Manchester City and Sterling was twice denied by Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Having somehow survived the Manchester City onslaught, Newcastle United then gifted them an opening goal when Fabian Schar needlessly shoved Gabriel Jesus and de Bruyne tucked away the penalty kick.

Newcastle United showed more intensity after the interval with striker Andy Carroll throwing his weight around.

But their absent fans watching at home on TV would have been groaning when Gayle somehow fired over the crossbar from Allan Saint-Maximin’s low cross.

That glaring miss looked even more costly a minute later when Sterling, who was inspired throughout, cut in from the left and picked out the bottom corner with a clinical finish.

Manchester City may have lost their English crown, but they have already bagged the League Cup and are still in the UEFA Champions League.

However, they could still end the most strange of seasons with three cups.

OLAL

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

Olawale Alabi: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

General news

Tambuwal urges Northern stakeholders to inject more resources, capacity to rescue education

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Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has called on stakeholders in the Northern Region of the country to pool more resources and capacity in order to rescue education in the area from its backwardness.

Tambuwal made the call when a delegation of the Committee of the Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian States Universities (CPCNSU) paid him a visit in Sokoto on Tuesday.

A statement by Malam Muhammad Bello, the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Publicity revealed that the visit was to condole with him over the death of the erstwhile Pro-Chancellor of the Sokoto State University, late Inuwa Abdulkadir.

The governor, commended the initiative to set up the CPCNSU, while observing that the northern part of the country is still “lagging behind in terms of education.”

“The forum which was set up in the year 2015 have occupied themselves with the business of contributing to the development of education in our states and Nigeria in general.

“This is our collective responsibility to see that our younger ones are educated, particularly those children that are out of school.

“We as leaders should provide them with basic education by creating the enabling environment and making provisions for necessary infrastructure, learning materials and personnel for the education of our younger ones,” he said.

Earlier the leader of the delegation Gen. Muhammad Magoro (rtd), told the governor that they were in the state to condole with him and the people over the death of their member, late Abdulkadir.

Magoro noted that the deceased was a patriot who was vast in many fields of human endeavor and proactive as their member when he was alive.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Economy

FirstBank rewards its Verve Card holders with free fuel

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited said that its customers using Verve Cards had begun to enjoy extra five (5) litres of fuel for every N3,000 fuel purchased using the card at specified periods.

Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications of the bank, said this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.

Ani-Mumuney said that the customers were enjoying the benefit under its Free Fuel promotion which kicked-off on July 6.

According to her, the Free Fuel promo is activated by FirstBank in collaboration with Verve International and Oando Plc.

“In the promo, for a minimum of N3,000 fuel purchase, FirstBank Verve Cardholders will receive 5 extra litres of fuel for FREE instantly at selected Oando Fuel Stations across Lagos every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

“The Oando fuel stations where the promo will run are Abijo (Lekki Stillwaters), Fola-Agoro, Maryland, Agege-Bypass, Lakowe, Lawanson Ojodu- Berger Alapere Shiro Road (Fadeyi Ikorodu Rd)Awolowo Rd (by Fire Service), Marina, and Tradefair stations,” she said.

She said that the promotion, which ends on July  24, was between the hours of 6am and 6pm.

“Verve card is a secure debit card that allows the cardholder to conveniently meet day to day financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer and more.

“It is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria. Pick up your FirstBank Verve card today at any of our branches and start getting rewarded,” she said.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Education

Coronavirus : Abide by NCDC protocols before reopening schools, stakeholders tell Kogi Govt.

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Stakeholders in the education sector in Kogi have called on the State Government to strictly adhere to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on COVID-19 before reopening schools in the state. They made the call in a Communique issued at the end of a meeting in Lokoja on Tuesday.

The stakeholders are: the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASSUS), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and College of Education Academic Staff Union (COESU).

The communique was signed by the state Chairman and Secretary of the NLC, Mr Onuh Edoka and Mr Oladipo Owoeye, respectively.

According to them, the state government should provide infrastructure that will aid enforcement of protocols stipulated by the NCDC to curb the spread of COVID-19 before reopening schools.

” Re-opening of schools in Kogi needs to be done with due diligence and utmost precaution to prevent the spread of Coronavirus that has been ravaging the world, including Nigeria,’ they said in the communique.

The stakeholders explained that their position was informed by the “apparent and very obvious ” fact that schools in the state were overcrowded.

” If tangible measures are not taken before the schools resume, it will definitely pave way for the spread of Coronavirus to unimaginable proportion.

“That is why the congress unanimously resolved at the end of our meeting today that government should do the needful to avoid unforeseen circumstances in Kogi as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ” the stakeholders said.

They further called on the state government to provide insurance cover and palliatives for all categories of staff in the institutions.

“Employers should also implement provision for excess load work allowance as it is contained in the scheme of service where it is applicable for lecturers and non -teaching staff,” the unions said.

They also advised government to urgently organise a Stakeholders Summit to deliberate on a way forward for the reopening of schools in the state.

They suggested that stakeholders such as the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Parent Teachers Association (PTA), chancellors, former Vice Chancellors , provosts , rectors , principals, headmasters, proprietors should be invited to come and air their views.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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Bauchi Inquiry Committee seeks stakeholders’ support to end farmers, herders clashes

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The Bauchi State Administrative Committee of Inquiry into Land Disputes between the herders and farmers on Monday called for the stakeholders’ support, to end such clashes in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Bala  Mohammed had, on July 8, constituted an Administrative Committee of inquiry into the land disputes between the herders and the farmers, in the 20 local government areas of the state.

Mohammed mandated the committee to submit its report within four weeks, from the date of its inauguration.

Mr Yahaya Baba, the Chairman of the Committee solicited the support of the stakeholders in a statement in Bauchi.

He said that the committee would be receiving both written and oral contributions from all stakeholders, that could assist in the discharge of its responsibilities.

“The committee can be supported by making any recommendations that will promote permanent resolution of the herders and farmers clashes across the state,” he said.

Baba noted that the committee had, with the terms of reference, to visit all the 20 local government areas and Government Reserve Forests, with the aim of ascertaining their sanctity in the state.“To investigate and determine if such government reserve areas are being illegally allocated by unauthorised persons, or groups of persons and those persons who are the beneficiaries of such illegal allocations. “Determine the persons or authorities directly or indirectly involved in such illegal allocation of the portion of the government’s forests reserve areas.“To also determine all the cattle routes within and outside the forests reserve and identify areas or portions of encroachment by the farmers,” he said.According to him, the committee will make recommendations on measures to be taken, to re-establish the cattle routes, forests reserve, as well as prevent the herders and farmers’ conflicts in the state.

Baba noted that the committee would make recommendations to promote permanent resolution of such clashes across in Bauchi State. 

The chairman, however, said that the committee would be fair in its recommendations on measures to be taken on the land disputes in the state.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Environment

Stakeholders call for completion of Obehie-Ukanafun road

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Stakeholders from Abia and Akwa Ibom have called for completion of the Obehie-Akwete-Azumini- Ukanafun road to ease movement of farm produce and  business activities in the areas.

The stakeholders spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews on Monday in Aba.

NAN reports that the Federal Government awarded the contract for dualisation of the 50-km highway linking Abia to Akwa Ibom with a diversionary link to Rivers at the cost of N34 billion.

The contract was awarded to Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria in 2010, by the Ministry of NigerDelta Affairs.

Mr Uzoma Abonta, the member representing Ukwa Federal Constituency at the National Assembly said the road was a regional one, which should be taken over and completed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“That road, initiated by me was awarded many years ago through Federal Executive Council to CCECC.

“And the Chinese company is waiting payment of compensations on the road.

“I have written to the Ministry of Niger Delta to please pay the Chinese company who claimed they are owed to continue and complete the road.

“The federal constituency is an Oil Producing Area. But till now, the people have been subjected to unbearable hardship because of the nature of that road which is difficult to drive through during the rainy seasons,” Abonta said.

The lawmaker said he had also written letters to NDDC to take over and complete it, noting that the road was important to the people of the area who contribute to national wealth.

He said that he and Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe had written to the ministry which promised to add the road to it budget.

”But when the was completed, the Niger Delta ministry budgeted very little amount for the road,’” he said.

Abonta said that the last budget of the ministry for the road was only N200 million which could not accomplishe  much.

He noted that they (senators) asked for budget upgrade to N1billion but it was not honoured.

Mr Mao Azunna, the Chairman, Grand Council of Niger-Delta Youth Leaders, Abia State chapter said that the Chinese company did only 500 meters of construction at Okeikpe area in Ukwa West, since 2012 till date and had yet to complete it.

Azunna stressed that the road had subjected Ukwa people, neighbouring Annang and Ogoni to economic hardship.

He said it was regrettable that property worth millions of naira were destroyed by the company in the course of executing the project, but less than seven per cent of the people affected received compensation.

However, commuters decried the deteriorating state of the road and pleaded with the government to complete it.

Mr John Uko, a retired teacher and native of Ukanafun, said his car broke down midway at Ohambele, while going to Akwete due to deteriorating state of the road.

According to him, the bad road is detrimental to peace and security in the area.

“I don’t know why we love doing things wrongly in this country while ignoring the right ways.

“A motorable Obehie-Akwete-Azumini-Ukanafun road will change people’s lives and create  new commercial centre in the middle of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Abia.

“There is something very significant about this road; our leaders always talk about economic diversification, especially toward agriculture.

“If there’s any road in Nigeria that can improve agriculture in terms of moving farm produce to cities, improve trade and commerce between rural and urban areas it is this road,” Uko said.

Recall that the road contract was awarded in two separate sections to the same company.

The first section being the stretch from Obehie junction beginning from EnuguPort Harcourt expressway to Akwete town spanning 20 km was awarded in March 2010 for about N12.3 billion.

The second section stretching from Azumini to Ukanafun in Akwa-Ibom spans 30 km was awarded in November 2010 for about N21 billion

Although part of the Azumini – Ukanafun road was done to an extent, the Akwete – Obehie road project, which was abandoned has failed badly and turned into a death trap.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

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Economy

Mission needs support from stakeholders to aid seafarers — Provost

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The Provost, Cathedral Church of Christ, Anglican Church, Very Revd. Adebola Ojofeitimi, on Sunday said that Mission to Seafarers Lagos (MTSL) needed support from stakeholders to aid seafarers that stop at the country’s port.

Ojofeitimi made the appeal at the online MTSL Sea Sunday Service.

The Mission to Seafarers is a mission society of the Anglican Communion, which offers help and support to merchant seafarers.

The charity provides its services through the chaplains that it appoints to port centres in over 50 countries.

According to the provost, the eight members of the management committee of MTS cannot help all the seafarers coming into Nigeria.

He said to be able to give seafarers the succour they needed both mentally and physically, there was need for support from stakeholders.

“Seafarers’ welfare is essential, and that is why today we are joining forces with the MTSL to call on all and sundry to come to their aid.

“Seafaring has to do with working on the sea, and that work at sea is not for pleasure but for delivery of goods and services around the world.

“Eighty-five to 90 per cent of goods and services that sustain our daily lives  are carried under the watchful eyes of these seafarers and so without them, the world will starve.

“Unfortunately, in carrying out this assignment, they are exposed to so many hardships, victims of abuse and exploitation, pirate attack, abandonment by shipowners and as a result they suffer mental illness and even death.

“So, the world must rally for their support, they cannot be abandoned. MTSL has a role to play, but they need support from stakeholders,” he said.

Ojofeitimi listed four points to note while serving on the mission to include contributing to the development of the MTSL centre to provide seafarers with a relaxation point when they are in the country.

He also mentioned ship visitation, which should not be empty-handed.

Others are donation in cash and kind, especially to MTSL, so that they can work well, and advocay, speaking up for seafarers so that people could understand what they do.

Ojofeitimi said that hospitality was the watchword, as it was a duty toward God through neighbours.

The Chairman, MTSL, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, appealed to parishioners not to be tired in coming to the aid of MTSL, as they still fell short of expectations.

“There is so much to do and we cannot do it alone, we need help from everyone to ensure that the seafarers get relief and peace of mind when they are not at sea,” he said.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Science & Technology

Lockdown: Stakeholders urge government to set up structures to improve ICT in education

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Stakeholders in the educational sector have called on the government to set up structures that would help improve Information Communication and Technology (ICT), in education during the lockdown and post COVID-19 era.

The call was made during the third-part of the webinar series of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS),  titled: “Re-opening: Insight Series for NAPPS FCT Schools”.

The virtual training and workshop series scheduled to hold throughout July is aimed at empowering its members on schools re-opening strategies in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the panelists, Dr Akin Fapohunda, an educationist, urged the government to adopt a laptop-per-child policy as a practical response to the ongoing lockdown of schools.

“ Government should look at approaches that would improve the public and private educational sector especially during periods like this,’’ he said.

He also called on the government to embark on the establishment of a laptop manufacturing plant and a solar panel project.

“ The establishment of a laptop manufacturing plant and a local assembly of solar panels are to cater to the IT and electricity needs of students and teachers.

“ Government should also direct agencies to provide free bandwidth for school children all over the country,’’ he said.

Fapohunda also called on the government to rethink its decision on the cancellation of the West African School Certificate Examinations for year 2020.

He said the exams could be rescheduled for the month of September or October, in a special arrangement, in adherence to COVID-19 safety measures.

He added that it was very important for the government to bridge the gap by carrying private school owners along in its decisions and policy making plans.

“ in the FCT, we have about 104 federal government schools, while we have over 30,000 private schools. So, it is only good that the government invites private school owners as part of its decision making body,’’ he said.

A behavioural change expert, Sam Obafemi, urged school owners to adopt alternative approaches to home schooling for the lockdown.

He advised participants on how to improve on logistics with school children in mind which could help in increased revenue.

According to him, the government ought to be crisis ready at all times as crisis is a seasonal phenomenon that affects all areas of life.

He said schools should look at developing apps that could help them cope with unforeseen crisis and make it withstand being short term expensive and long term affordable.

In her remarks, Mrs Samira Jibir, the Proprietor of Glisten International School, Jahi, Abuja, advised schools to be disruptive with their method of teaching due to the pandemic.

Jibir said gone were the days when there was a particular way of doing things in the educational sector.

She urged all school owners to adopt a personal approach of blended learning that would benefit their learning spaces as they battled with the uncertainties ahead.

The president of NAPPS FCT chapter, Mrs Olusola Bankole, said it was very important for the government to encourage teachers to subscribe to online classes.

She reiterated that the association had embarked on corporate social responsibilities to schools in and around the FCT.

She said the association had also provided handwashing stations and infrared thermometers at subsidised rates to its members.

She disclosed that about 100 teachers and principals from public schools were part of the ongoing training.

Bankole also urged private school owners to reach out to public schools around them to see how they could be of help to them after the lockdown.

NAN reports that no fewer than 300 teachers and proprietors from FCT and neighboring states were trained on modalities to adopt for schools reopening after the lockdown.

Almost 100 teachers and principals from government owned schools and institutions were part of the training.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

Coronavirus: FRSC tasks transport stakeholders on adherence to protocols

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Akwa Ibom Command has urged transport unions and fleet operators in the state to ensure compliance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines and protocols at motor parks.

The Command’s Sector Commander, Mr Oga Ochi, who made the call during a  meeting with the unions and operators in Uyo on Friday, urged them to also follow FRSC guidelines.

Ochi urged the groups at the meeting to collaborate with the agency in preventing the spread of Coronavirus pandemic.

He said that the lifting of ban on interstate travel by the federal government should be seen as a measure to revive the economy, which required all hands to be on deck.

“The transport operators, especially the executives of the transport unions, must endeavour to comply with the directives as FRSC is poised to partner with all relevant stakeholders in ensuring safety and strict compliance to the guidelines of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19,” Ochi said.

He listed observance of social distancing, reduction of loading capacity by 50 per cent, use of face mask by drivers and passengers, prohibition of use of air conditioner on public transport, intensive hygienic system and use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

The sector commander also cited washing of hand with soap under running water, starting from the entrance of the park.

He said there must be total compliance to all the guidelines to ensure safety at various parks.

Ochi said that the command would deploy operatives to monitor compliance level in all the motor parks and along the routes, stressing that defaulters would be apprehended.

In a remark, Mr Timothy Udoh, Chairman Itam Central Motor Park commended the Sector Commander and the agency for the sensitisation.

Udoh said that the transport unions would do their best in ensuring compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

He said that the major challenge would be operators of illegal motor parks who had the tendency of violating laid down guidelines.

The chairman called on the agency to assist in curbing the menace of illegal motor parks with its attendant consequences on the innocent commuters.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Education

Stakeholders commend Oyo govt over graduating classes’ resumption

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Some stakeholders in the education sector have commended the efforts of the Oyo State government in ensuring  safe environment for reopening schools for graduating classes in the state.

They  gave their commendations in separate interviews with  News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Friday. 

NAN recalled that primary six pupils, JSS III and SSS III students resumed revision classes towards their examinations on July 6.

Mr Kayode Adeyemi, the  President National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) Oyo State, said that it had been a very good development from all the reports available to the union.

“Everybody complied with the COVID-19 safety protocols and there has not been any issue whatsoever concerning the safety of the children. 

“From the record of the inspection team in Oyo State it is obvious that reopening of schools has not added to the infection rate and there has not been any report so far on it.

“The students and teachers are happy to be back in school and everybody is on their  beat awaiting  all the exams and we trust God that the remaining arms will be opened soon,” Adeyemi said. 

Also, Mr Tojuade Adedoyin, the state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) said that teachers were gradually adjusting to the situation.

“The various headmasters and principals have provided all the necessary materials and our students and pupils are happy to be back in school. 

“To a certain extent we are happy with the government’s  provision, though there is room for improvement,” he said

Adedoyin said that the union was liaising with the government on all other areas it thinks that the government should come in and improve.

“There are some schools where they don’t have the thermometer to measure the temperature of students and staff. 

“So if the government can provide the thermometers or the running grants for the second term; the school managers will have the funds to fall back on to buy whatever they need for the running of the school,” he noted. 

Prof. Clement  Kolawole, the Chairman, School Governing Board  of Estate High School, Bashorun, said that the system was stabilising and overcoming initial challenges. 

“I found that the government took a good decision to reopen school for the category of those who have resumed now, although teachers are working harder and are making sacrifices to see that the reopening works, they deserve to be commended for their dedication,” Kolawole said. 

Prof. Adams Onuka, an education evaluation expert, said that the government had done the needful by asking the graduating class to resume  revision  classes. 

“To me, it’s a well-thought decision by the various governments; national and sub-national, it’s good that for a start, it has been restricted to the graduating classes,” he said. 

Onuka said the decision would  definitely boost students’ morale and lower their anxiety which could adversely affect those with high anxiety quotient and  ultimately their performance. 

He, however, urged parents and their wards to ensure that they do everything that can assure their safety of their children and protect them from contracting the pandemic or prevent them from spreading them.

“Parents and students must demonstrate the God-fearing spirit and have the interest of others  at heart; that way nobody will become an agent of spreading the sickness,” Onuka said. 

Prof. Oyesoji Aremu of the Department Guidance and Counselling, University of Ibadan, also said that school resumption of transition classes amid spikes of COVID-19 looks somehow scary. 

“Nevertheless, management of classes and health of students and teachers are very important. 

“While students may not be too much at risk, the teachers may not be too lucky if adequate provisions are not made by the government and leadership of the schools. 

“While private schools may not be too much affected at least the standard ones among them, the same may not be said about some public schools begging for infrastructural attention long before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic,” Aremu said. 

He said the situation was a wake-up call for government and schools’ proprietors and other stakeholders to, as a matter of importance and urgency, give hygiene a place it deserves in teaching and learning. 

Aremu said the success or otherwise of school opening would determine whether or not other students and pupils would  resume schooling on time.

“It means, COVID-19 protocols must be well entrenched in the course of teaching and learning, government officials and other stakeholders would therefore ensure strict compliance,” he said.

Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)

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