Get Us Back To School: An Open Letter To The Federal Ministry Of Education
By Adedapo Taiwo Emmanuel
INFOMEDIA – To begin with, I would love to express my sincere gratitude to the Federal Government—the President and his calibre of the numero uno; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the Federal Ministry of Education, NCDC and Presidential.
Task Force (on COVID-19)—for their productivenesses that have incessantly ensured that the Virus is curtailed. Irrespective of obstructive criticism, regards to some translucent efforts.
We vivdly reminisce that at late March this year, Students across the country defenestrated their respective institutions in regards to the measure taken by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the virus. This, to any rational individual was a blissful decision as at the time of the first covid-19 cases. Some weeks after, another alluring step was taken—as Minister Of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu initiated online learning for higher institutions and claims to have had a virtual meeting with the Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics and Vice Chancellors of Universities on how to conduct the elearning in their respective institutions, but this step could have been a scintillating one if it is part of the Nigerian higher institutions’ modus operandi—did Malam Adamu Adamu not know the possibility of his unfeasible initiative before he played on our intelligence?
Despite this, Even after the yada yada yada talk by the minister of education, Students still wanted to participate in the kangaroo learning in other to have something doing, but unfortunately ministry of education and president could not provide necessary things for the elearning to be effective. In suncintness, we have been compelled to stay at home and we have been chased away from schools for four months without online, virtual, and physical learning. What a carelessness on the Ministry of Education and Presidency. “If education is given little or no regards the future of our dear country is in danger, even more dangerous than what we can envisaged”
Again, On the 8th of July, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said on media that Nigerian students will not get back to school anytime soon. He even said students in graduating classes will not participate in “WAEC.” The minister said he is responsible for all the students in Nigeria, that he preferred students to loose an academic year than to be exposed to danger, sarcastic? The actual thing he meant was that “they are still enjoying corona cake,” It is not safe to reopen schools now, but it is safe to have elections, rallies and the likes.
It is no proud on the Ministry of Education for not being able to come up with a suitable guidelines for the reopening of schools, despite the truth that some other parastatals and sectors that are opened are more dangerous than schools in the spreadthis of covid-19 virus. The news is, the coming pandemic is gargantuanly hazardous than covid-19, and after it came, Federal Government would not be able to control it. The pandemic comes unfailingly If schools remain closed till 2021.
Some of the problems Nigeria will face if schools are been shut till 2021 are:
1) More criminals in the country, how do I mean? There will be lot of guys engaging in cyber fraudery, ritualists, prostitutes, terrorists, rapists and other forms of social vices. For one of the things that was giving students hope of a better tomorrow and was keeping them away from all of these immoral acts is education, but here we have Government denying us of our right to access education. According to ministry of women affairs, can anyone imagine that over 3000 cases of rapes have been recorded in this lockdown period. Students that were busy with academis activities and some extra curriculum responsibles on campuses are now at home doing nothing—and then exposed to criminal victimization—male students are now in to legalities, our female students are facing ‘rapedenmic.’ Are all these not deadly than the virus itself? On the 19th of July The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi told the Federal Government not to reopen schools until 2021. Well then, I was not surprised about the selfish statement made by the President of the Union, because ASUU is a pressure group and pressure groups are to be dogmatic at their interests, yet isn’t it illogical for ASUU if they really are concerned about students and education as they always claimed? For anybody that makes education a priority would not utter such a regurgitating word. Why won’t they be happy for schools to remain closed? They are collecting salaries without working. Is covid-19 not good for them?
Yes, covid-19 is real but it’s been exaggerated by the federal Government.” Get us back to school our priority.
Indeed, it’s unfair to come up with guidelines that enabled the hasty reopening of other sectors with uncontrollable activities such as the Inter-state movement, Markets, religious centres, Airports and other parastatals which are directly or indirectly of the Government interest and thereby causing education of Nigeria students to be given little or no regards. We all are aware that electioneering campaigns/rallies are been done in this country with little or no adherence.
to COVID-19 guidelines, the aviation sector is fully open for flights, markets are open for buying and selling in this country amidst Corona Virus. If these and other parastatals could be opened and their activities ongoing, why can’t we get back to school? Why
should it take eons to come up with solutions that will allow the reopening of schools as soon as possible? Why is our education of less importance? How do we progress as future leaders when our education can’t be a priority? The old women and men used for political campaigns and rallies; do they understand social distancing more than us, the students?
With all the above points, I have confidence in the government and the stakeholders in the education sector, I believe that they are father figures and good mothers to us, I know they will understand our unfortunate situation and do everything possible to get us back to school. Therefore, we demand a swift solution from the Federal Governement and Ministry of Education to the critical issues in this letter. I request for fast implementation of those solutions to safe teaching and learning amidst the COVID-19.
I urge the federal Government to reopen schools without further ado. “Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world”
I am Adedapo Taiwo Emmanuel, a concerned Nigerian student
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of INFOMEDIA