By Onyinyechi Kanu 

The Imo State Commissioner for Education, Prof. BTO Ikegwuoha on Thursday 15th, October flagged off distribution of nose masks and hand sanitizers to Imo State public schools to supplement the ones already provided by their parents while thanking his Excellency, the executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma for his magnanimity. 

Speaking at the occasion which held at Government Secondary School, located at Okigwe Road, Owerri, the commissioner who represented the governor to flag off the distribution said that before school reopened on the 5th of October, 2020, one of the policies enacted by the Imo State executive council was that parents must provide nose masks for their children, “but some of these teenagers are rebellious, they tend to lose their nose masks more often  and may not be allowed into the classrooms without it because nose masks is part of the COVID-19 protocol, that is why the governor deemed it necessary to provide supplementary nose masks and hand sanitizers for them”. 

According to him, “the reopening of schools was not based on unconformity, but we based our decision on logic and on medical science by deploying the Commissioner for Health to make sure we have community testing in all 27 local government areas of Imo State which proved that we have 0.9% prevailing rate of Covid-19 in Imo State”.

Continuing, Prof. Ikegwuoha said, the day of school activities were fractionalized into two, out of the five school days. Mondays and Tuesdays are for junior classes while Wednesdays to Fridays are for senior classes for social distancing, but if cases of COVID-19 dwindles, we will open fully. He added that because these children have strong immune system, when they get it, they take it home to their parents who have weak immune systems because of some prevailing ailments. However, we will carryout second phase of community testing and see the prevalence, if it is high, we will close schools”.

The Principal of Government Secondary School, Owerri which hosted the flag off of the distribution and the Owerri zonal Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Rev. Jamike Eke, who was the former principal of Government Technical College, Owerri in 2017 to 2019 that sanitized the school and made it cultism free. He also recently bagged the award of the Best Principal by Imo college Awards and in his time as the principal of Government Secondary School, Owerri, the school won the 1st runner up of the public senior secondary schools in Nigeria, by 2020, President’s Teacher’s and School Excellence Awards (PTSEA) during the 2020 world Teacher’s day celebration held on Monday 5th October, 2020 at Eagle Square, FCT Abuja. 

He thanked His Excellency, Senator Hope Uzodimma “for making these available for our pupils and students so that they will adhere to COVID-19 protocol. He also thanked the Honourable Commissioner for finding time to come and flag off the exercise inspite of his busy schedule and all present to make the occasion a success”.