Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River says all the public schools in the state will resume on Tuesday, June 16.
The Guardian reports that this was disclosed in a statement made available to newsmen in Calabar by his special adviser on media and publicity, Christian Ita.
This as Governor Ayade unveiled the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) made at the state-owned garment factory and is being mass-produced.
Governor Ayade said the protective gears, which include face shields and PPE overalls, will be distributed to schools free of charge for the use of students and medical personnel in the state.
He said the state government does not want children to continue to stay at home as doing so will foster moral decadence and laziness.
“I think it is wise for the kids to go back to school and I have seen this happen in China where kids are back to schools with their nosemasks and shields.
So you wear your nose mask and you wear your face shield when you get to school you drop the mask and wear only your shield to allow for more ventilation and more breathing,” Ayade explained.
Governor Ayade also mentioned that it is high time the federal government started “to also show love and support to Cross River state” as it has started mass producing PPE which will help save health workers in the country.
He said the state government has seriously invested with the PPE production, adding that best quality materials are being used while experts from India who specialise in mass production have been brought in.
The governor appealed to the federal government for patronage, saying that the production of the protective gear was part of his administration’s effort to fight the global pandemic.
He added: “I think that the federal government will be excited to encourage the resumption of schools because obviously the coronavirus has come to stay with us and the reality is that countries that have attempted to resume schools have had to contend with the increase prevalence of the virus but obviously how long can we wait as a country?”
On his part, the state commissioner for education, Godwin Amanke, described the planned resumption as “trial resumption”.
He said: “Students will wear face masks and face shield to school. Once at the school gate the children will wash their hands and legs.
“Hand sanitizers will also be used. When the children enter the classroom, they will remove the face mask and use only the face shield so as to get enough ventilation.
“Upon closure, they will wear back their masks and wear the shields and go back home. Teachers will wear same and undergo the same coronavirus protocols in the classroom.”