President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Professor Innocent Ujah, says the decision to reopen schools was not backed by data.
He described the decision as sentimental while appearing as a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily on Monday.
The medical expert also cautioned the federal and state governments against disregarding medical experts’ advice on COVID-19.
He said, “What lessons have we learnt one year after? If we say that students should go to school, what facilities have we put in place? Our problem is that we do a lot of talking doing very little. It is also true that we do not listen to experts. What we have been saying is that this coronavirus is totally unprepared for.
“We know that children will go to school, we know that they should maintain the NCDC protocols, but what have we done in the schools? Nigeria is an interesting country, full of contradictions.
“Whether it is private or public, an injury to one is an injury to all. What I know is that we have no statistics on schools that are ready. Whether it is private or public and what they should put in place.
“I think we are very sentimental in making this decision as a nation. Let us follow the advice of experts. While we are saying that schools should be reopened, we should be prepared and there should be monitoring and supervision. We talk and we don’t supervise.”
Nursery, primary and secondary schools in states including Lagos, Ogun, Ogun, Ebonyi and Nasarawa resume academic activities today for the second term of the 2020/21 academic year.
Some higher institutions, both federal and state, had also signified their intentions to resume academic activities today.
Resumption at basic schools was delayed in many states following the second wave of COVID-19 as well as the advice by the NCDC.
Schools in Oyo State, however, resumed on January 4, while schools in Edo and Anambra states will resume in February.
The Lagos State Government, in a statement on Friday, affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in the state below tertiary level should resume on Monday (today).
Also, the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, had on Friday directed all primary, secondary as well as government science and technical colleges to resume academic activities on Monday.
Arigbabu appealed to parents, guardians, teachers, school administrators, and other stakeholders to ensure full compliance with all coronavirus protocols
Also, the Ebonyi State Government will deploy two nurses in each public school ahead of today’s resumption to stem the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.