Despite stipulated guidelines and safety protocols for schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19, enforcement of the use of facemasks by pupils and students has been very poor.
Some schools visited by The Guardian in Lagos metropolis have relaxed on the use of facemasks
Most schools visited by The Guardian in Ijegun, Ikotun, Isolo, and Fagba areas complied with safety regulations of hand washing, temperature checking and use of sanitisers, but failed to enforce the use of face masks.
A concerned parent in Ikotun, Mrs. Akorede said most of the students in her area do not wear facemasks, while some parents are also nonchalant about safety protocols.
Worried by the development, Managing Director/Lead Consultant, Eastfields Communications and Marketing Services, Mr. Victor Kayode, suggested that the supervising ministry should set up a task force to check the level of compliance, and sanction any erring school.
Kayode said the government should also do the needful by providing free hand sanitisers, facemasks and sensitisation leaflets on COVID-19 to schools.
An education consultant, Julius Opara, stressed the need for stakeholders to make information, education and communication (ICE) materials on COVID-19 available to both teachers and students.
He advised the government to direct schools to enforce protocols, but also ensure strict compliance by promptly visiting, identifying and rewarding complying schools and sanctioning those who failed to adhere to safety guidelines.
But the Proprietress, Flourish Nursery and Primary School, Agege, Bunmi Olawuyi, said parents should be educated on the need to protect their wards.
“We can’t say that schools are not enforcing the use of face masks; enough, some parents do not believe that COVID-19 exists, hence not keen on the use of face masks.
Olawuyi called on the government to enforce the use of facemasks by arresting and prosecuting those flouting the directive.