Ukpono Ukpong, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has vowed to arrest and subsequently, prosecute any teacher within the territory who fails to comply with the COVID-19 guidelines issued to help curb the spread of the virus.
Addressing Journalists after an inspection tour across schools in the nation’s capital to ascertain the level of compliance, the Head, FCT Media and Enlightenment on COVID-19, Comrade Ikharo Attah, bemoaned a situation where teachers in schools visited, heavily violated guidelines, while students fully complied.
“What we saw was a very strong compliance with the students, but very sadly, school workers, teachers, some security men and non-teaching staff believed that the compliance was strictly and only for students.
“You all saw it. We went to some schools where we see teachers not putting on facemasks, we see workers not putting on facemasks and we see cleaners not putting on facemasks, but the students are almost 100 percent in compliance with facemasks.
“Even the ones we saw in Kpaduma, a rural community, where both the students and teachers were not putting on facemasks.
“So we actually felt so disappointed that teachers and school leaders who ought to be the ones spearheading were the ones defaulting the guidelines.
“They are not leading by example. If the teachers don’t put on facemasks, the students won’t also put them on.
“It was so pathetic and sad enough that the teachers did not even have facemasks when we asked them, but the students were bringing out theirs in the rural school.
“It is quite disheartening, but we warmed them strongly that, today was the day of grace, when we get to those schools next and find them violating the guidelines, we will arrest all of them and charge them to court.”
Ikharo explained that it was strategic inspecting the schools on the third day. According to him, the schools had expected such inspection on the first day, but coming on the third day made them dropped their guard and were taken by surprise.
From Government Secondary School, Tudun Wada, Wuse Zone 4, through Junior Secondary, Wuse Zone 3 to Government Secondary School, Garki, the sad story of heavy violation of COVID-19 by teachers and other workers was the same.
It was same with Festival Road Primary School, Garki, even though the Principal, Mr. Shuiabu Mohammed Usman had disclosed that his school has installed five hand washing points and collected more desks to enable physical distancing.
The last point of call, LEA primary school, Kuruduma, was also the last in teems of compliance, as Ikharo declared: “this is the poorest in terms of compliance, no face masks… I am not impressed.”