Bayelsa State Government says it is taking steps to ensure that schools are safe to allow final year students to resume and participate in external examinations as directed by the federal government.
Messrs Freston Akpor and Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries of Information and Education, respectively assured that the government was doing its best to protect students and teachers.
They said the government was already fumigating schools across the state as well as providing handwashing facilities and urged parents and communities to complement the efforts of the government.
Akpor, who is a member of the Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force, said that Governor Douye Diri of the state who chairs the Task Force had approved the deployment of health professionals to schools while temporary isolation facilities would be put in place in schools.
“The government of Bayelsa has been working to get our schools ready and safe for our children and that is why we have scheduled a train the trainers programme to acquaint schools with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“The essence is to build capacity of our people and update them with the guidelines from the Federal Government on the reopening of schools that is why we are taking our time and shifted the resumption for final year students to Aug. 5.
“Government is providing face masks, infrared thermometers and access to water for schools without water supply, alternative arrangements are in place and we are poised to check the spread of the coronavirus.
“In view of the questionable and low quality of hand sanitisers, we are emphasising frequent hand washing with soap and water and we appeal to members of the public as well as parents and guardians to complement the efforts government is making.
“Parents should, for example, provide additional face masks for their wards so that for instance when they wash the ones provided in schools, they can have a spare one,” Akpor said.
Newsmen report that the state government has scheduled a COVID-19 prevention training programme for private and public schools to ensure safety protocols are complied with when schools resume on August 5.