The Enugu State Government, yesterday, started comprehensive decontamination and fumigation of secondary schools in the state ahead of resumption of academic activities. The exercise is being carried out by the State Fire Service.
Enugu State Government, on March 24, 2020, closed all educational institutions in the state, as part of proactive measures to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The state government directed all public officers/civil servants to work from home till further notice, except those on essential services.
Briefing newsmen shortly after the flag off, which took place at Queen’s School Enugu, the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, who monitored the exercise alongside the Chairman of Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB) Mr. Nestor Ezeme, said the governor directed that “all our schools, classrooms, dormitories and school premises should be decontaminated and fumigated in preparation for resumption.”
Prof. Eze disclosed that “this is to ensure that when the students and teachers are back to schools, they will be safe to learn in conducive environment.”
The commissioner added that the exercise would take place in all the schools and would be completed on or before the evening of Monday, August 3, 2020.
He pointed out that Governor Ugwuanyi’s administration had utilised the four months of break in academic activities “in renovation and expansion of our school facilities to ensure that we have enough space for our children to maintain social distancing when they return to schools.
“In fact, a few days ago, His Excellency himself moved round schools to inspect our state of readiness and this decontamination and fumigation exercise, which is very important, is going to be the last stage of our preparation”, Prof. Eze said.
Also speaking, the PPSMB Chairman, Ezeme, added that “our education friendly governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi during the four months of lockdown had paid our teachers, totaling 11,000 in number their salaries, from the 22nd to the 23rd of every month”.
He said that the teachers were coming back to schools, ready and much energised, expressing optimism that their output will be maximised.
In his speech, the State Chief Fire Officer, Mr. Okwudiri Ohaa stated that the decontamination and fumigation exercise will be carried out simultaneously in about 297 secondary schools, saying: “We are sure that on or before evening of Monday, we will complete it”.
Ohaa revealed that the state fire service offices at different local government areas had been mobilised to carry out the exercise, reassuring that the schools would be ready “for students and their teachers to be safe when they return”.
He maintained that the Enugu State government had been consistent with the decontamination of its public places since the outbreak of COVID-19, stressing that “there is no other state that is as consistent as Enugu State”.
Appreciating Gov. Ugwuanyi’s efforts towards enhancing the standard of education in the state as well as the welfare and safety of the students and their teachers, the Principal of Queen’s School Enugu, Mrs. Ada Nweke, said that the teachers would ever remain grateful to the governor for his commitment and good works in the education sector and beyond.