Raymond Ozoji, Awka
As part of efforts to fight the coronavirus infection to a standstill, the Anambra State Government has announced its intention to include covid-19 education as a subject area in school curriculum.
The state Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Azuka Omenugha, who disclosed this to NewsProbe at the secretariat complex Awka, said that the aim of the strategy was to instill the culture and practice of simple personal hygiene in primary and secondary school pupils as well as educate them on the covid-19 prevention protocols.
Omenugha opined that the strategy became very pertinent especially as government was working assiduously to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the state.
The commissioner also disclosed that government would expand as well as repackage its ongoing On-Air-Learning Programme to meet the special needs of over 500 pupils living with hearing impairment, stressing that government would introduce sign languages and other means to carry deaf students along in the On-Air-Learning Programme.
She said, “What we are doing now is to get prepared to welcome the students. The teachers are back and they are trying to get the schools tidied up; fixing information materials on hand-washing and others on the walls of the classrooms.
“We will also domesticate covid-19 education by introducing it into the school curriculum so that people doing history can talk about the history of fluids all over the world; those in biology can talk about personal hygiene and so on.
“So we are trying to see what we can put into the curriculum in relation to covid-19. We are also decongesting the classrooms to make sure there is enough space for pupils to maintain physical distancing.”
The commissioner however pointed out that the state government was currently on standby to welcome students back to school but would tarry awhile to obtain directives from the federal government on formal reopening of schools across the nation.
According to her,”It is not for me to say when schools will reopen and His Excellency Governor Willie Obiano has also said that the federal government will say when schools will reopen.”
She opined that while government awaited the resumption of schools across the country, the state would henceforth adopt what she calls blended teaching, which she said was a combination of e-learning and physical teaching respectively.
The commissioner also explained that teachers would be trained on the Covid-19 prevention protocols as well as pedagogy, methodology and other forms of teaching techniques to meet the learning needs of the pupils at this critical time.
Omenugha recalled that the state government commenced its On-Air-Teaching Programme 1st April, 2020, barely a week schools were shut down and ever since, it has been a worthwhile approach, noting that Anambra teachers had received commendations all over the world regarding the On-Air-Learning Programme and that the minister of state for education also extolled the scheme.