Prof. Peter Okebukola, former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), has charged states to adopt staggered attendance to provide opportunity for physical distancing in school environment, as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 as schools resume.
Prof. Okebukola gave the charge while delivering the keynote address at the National Education Summit organized by Human Development Initiative with support from MacArthur Foundation.
Prof. Okebukola stressed that states and FCT must be encouraged to implement logistical arrangements such as staggered attendance that will ensure safe distancing.
He also added that, “Support schools in the implementation of the FME Guidelines on Reopening of schools especially in the provision of handwashing materials, face masks and sanitisers. School clinics should be prioritized.
“Ensure that all schools adhere strictly to the FME guidelines and apply sanctions when breached.”
Towards addressing some of the challenges of E-learning during the closure of schools, Prof. Okebukola noted that states should, “Begin a phased implementation of a plan to resource schools for quality online education, including internet service, connectivity tools and electricity.
“Begin phased training programme for teachers in the delivery of virtual/online education.”
He however noted that the “use of radio should be explored to the fullest in delivering basic education.”
Earlier while giving her welcome address, Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, Executive Director, HDI explained that achieving quality basic education requires joint effort of relevant stakeholders by providing the necessary support for the government.
She also advocated for the full implementation of Inclusive Education policy at National and States level, stressing that, “we are advocating for an inclusive education policy that will increase education access for children with disabilities.”
On his part, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, Lagos State Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, disclosed that, inclusive education is the best way to maximize the scarce resources for a better education system.
He also noted that inclusive education is education for all as it breaks the barriers that children are faced with in accessing education.
Themed COVID-19 and the Future of Education in Contemporary Nigeria, the Summit had in attendance Chairmen of States Universal Education Board, Civil Society Organizations working on Education, Education stakeholders at the National and State levels amongst others.