Musing about the Delay in the Reopening Of Schools in Nigeria
Emmanuel Faweh Kazah
Fusing the Thoughts
A part of me tells me that the delay in the reopening of schools is an aspect of a giant plan to hoist a compulsory vaccination on students who form about 52 % of the total number of youths in the country (cf. UNICEF NIGERIA report).
Social and Learning Spaces Jostled
Just think about it. Whereas major social spaces where throng of people converge like mosques, churches, markets, motor parks, seaports, airports and hospitality spots remain open, the one space that remain closed is the learning space. If all students from crèches to tertiary institutions were asked to vaccinate before resuming school you can only imagine the quantity of vials that would be consumed. Of course, if the Government can achieve a feat such as compelling every student to present a certificate of vaccination before they are granted admission into the precinct of their respective institutions, it would be awarded a certificate of valor by the major pharmaceutical companies for taking decisive measures to combat the killer novel COVID - 19.
Between Presidential Integrity and Mortgaging the Soul of a Nation
It was said, though in whispers, in some quarters that Pharmaceutical companies bribe heads of government to allow them market their products in their countries. Can this be true? Well, considering the integrity of our president as it’s hyped by some media outfits, I’m sure he would not allow his own people to be used as guinea pigs in the global laboratories of pharmaceutical companies.
I learnt that the total budget allocated to the health sector in 2021 is 632bn and if my memory serves me right it was 340bn in 2018. And don’t forget too that the actual release of that which is budgeted may be less. It beats my imagination that the Government is going to spend the sum of 400bn, an amount that is higher than the 2018 budget of the health sector and more than 80 % of the 2021 budget, for the purchase of a vaccine for a disease that has killed about 1500 and infected less than 90,000 people within the ark of a year. How can the Government defend such spending for crying out loud? Everyday some 2300 under five year old and 145 women of childbearing age die from preventable causes. Neonatal mortality rate is also about 37 per every 1000 live births. There are an estimated 100 million malaria cases with over 300,000 deaths per year in Nigeria. This compares with 215,000 deaths per year in Nigeria from HIV/AIDS. It’s a little less than a year from the time the novel COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head in China with only about 1500 fatalities in Nigeria. Why the big spend on a sickness that kills less people than the “Godzillas” of ailments - Malaria and AIDS- that terrorize and decimate our population with reckless abandon?. Now that our learning spaces are under the threat of being closed for another indefinite period of time, I fear that besides the physical death which is very negligible, we would be visited with the death of intellect due to the dearth of normal intellectual activities. Yes, strangling the learning spaces would deal a blow on the soul of our nation because a country with a bleeding educational sector is at death’s door. I weep for the leadership of our country whose poverty of leadership does not only disables the nation but it pushes it to a political crevice where it hangs at the mercy of the greedy first world countries that prey on the gullibility of our so called “pater patria”. Perhaps it’s time for the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 think of the best way to tackle the spread of corona virus without infecting our already fledgling educational sector.
Time to Defuse
I think our major preoccupation in the year 2021 would be to maintain equilibrium between fighting or giving up, celebrating small victories with slaps on the back or throwing in the towel in the face of the hydra headed monster of a Virus. In the year 2020 we felt truly naked and defenseless before the dreaded Virus but we fought on all fours to get out of the woods, the numbers are there for us to check. At least out of the 90000 people that were infected, 75000 persons were treated and discharged by our courageous medical practitioners who despite the paucity of the supply of PPEs and other essential equipments have admirably worked round the clock to save lives. If COVID-19 can claim the lives of only 1500 when our learning spaces are open it means we can still beat it to pulp without closing them again. To beat it, we must try as much as possible to follow NCDC’s PROTOCOLS AND GUIDANCE OF RESPIRATORY HYGIENE, SOCIAL DISTANCING REGULATIONS AND WASHING OF HANDS.