Teachers comprising Principals, Vice Principals, Head Masters and Head Mistress under the employ of the Cross River State government have been trained on COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) best practices to adopt as schools resume after months of closure because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The two days training which started from West African People’s Institute (WAPI) Calabar for those in this region, and has moved to the central and northern part of the state; was on graced by the Commissioner for Health and Chairman Cross River State COVID-19 Response and Taskforce, Dr Betta Edu.
According to her the training is aimed at preventing and reducing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 among school staff and students which will also prevent transmission among students and the wider community. This is also important to create a link between the schools and the LGA/ state rapid response team in their locality.
She said every school should have a plan and protocol in place to protect staff, children, and their families from the spread of COVID-19, and a response plan in place for eventualities. (if or when a student, teacher, or staff member is suspected to have COVID-19) as this amongst the few Infections Prevention and Control strategy have been disclosed to the teachers and manuals given to them.
In managing their students and pupils when they return to the classroom, Dr Edu counseled the teachers to consider the challenges they may have faced during the long stay from school.
She said some of them may have experienced hunger, sexual abuse, domestic violence, emotional, social and psychological vices, urging the teachers to show love and reassure them that this phase cannot hinder their bright future. She called on schools to avoid assemblies for now, sporting and cultural events that could put their student and teachers at risk.
Director Public Health, Dr Iwara Iwara and the lead facilitator disclosed that teachers were drawn from Secondary and Primary Schools with a sole aim of providing clear and actionable guidance for safe operations through the prevention, early detection and control of COVID-19 in schools and other educational facilities.
According to Dr Iwara it will also encourage students to become advocates for disease prevention and control at home, in school, and in their community by talking to others about how to prevent the spread of viruses and to maintain safe school operations and reopening of schools after a long closure.
The training which began on Monday will cut across the three senatorial district of Cross River State and it was organized through Secoundary and Basic education boards in the state.