The Management of Neogenics Education Group has called for the annulments of the 2019/2020 academic year and also wants all students to have a new start in September 2020 by repeating their current year and class.
The Group admitted that its reasons might sound peculiar but it was an important fact that a child’s absence from school experience had a significant influence on their future successes and life chances.
According to Mr. Grrant Bulmuo, the Lead Consultant at Neogenics Education Group, eight days of absence from school reduces a child’s best chance of success by four percent, 19 days by 10 percent, 29 days by 15 percent, 38 days by 20 percent and 48 days by 25 percent.
He said this in a statement that is in line with the request for schools to resume despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the country.
The Statement issued by the Group asks that before schools would resume, are stakeholders sure that parents would send their children back to school soon due to health concerns.
The Group would also want to know whether ‘we know if teachers are prepared as front liners to risk their lives and how many children may be kept back and enrolled in their family workforce to sell and support their parents due to COVID-19 financial loss’.
The statement went on to ask if stakeholders knew how many pupils are ready to return to school as a result of impartiality in education altogether due to the lack of engagement by their schools.
“Historically, we are told that after pandemics girls are unlikely to return to school for various reasons and what measures are in place to avoid possible local/national viral resurgence,” it added.
It inquired if stakeholders knew how many teachers and school staff had adequately been trained and resourced to detect and control symptoms of Covid-19, stigmas, and Corona Virus related anxieties suffered by children.
The statement asked how many schools (especially boarding schools) were Post-Pandemic ready with capabilities and systems to start accepting pupils.
It also wanted to know if each school had enough statistical data to know how many teachers and pupils had been exposed to carriers of the virus or were asymptomatic and to what extent would the commuting of children to and from school impact on public health.
“What are the options and alternatives for Head Teachers, who might receive absence notices from staff claiming they are experiencing mild symptoms of Covid-19 and will want to self-isolate,” the statement asked.
It said until the quality of responses to the above questions met national expectations, the Group would not advise the government to re-open schools.
It said children by the end of May 2020 would have been absent from active learning for almost 50 school days and the majority of these children may hardly remember any of the learning they experienced in school from September 2019.
The statement, therefore, said the government should engage all teachers in both Private and Public schools in a mass National ICT education drive by taking advantage of the increased national interest in ICT to equip parents, teachers, and children across the country.
It said this would offer everyone the minimum ICT skills needed for the education system to thrive and leapfrog to Global standards.
“This is the time to do this! There is no better time than this. It is a golden opportunity to roll out a national ICT strategy before September 2020 academic year and hopefully, by then COVID-19 will have been substantially subdued and cease to be a threat to our lives,” it said.
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Elsewhere, the re-opening of schools has rather led to unexpected outcomes.
In France, about 70 COVID-19 cases have been linked to schools after one-third of children recently went back to school.