Barely four days into the resumption of academic activities in public schools, after the Christmas and the New Year break, many secondary and primary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), are witnessing low turnout of students and pupils.
This is coming on the heels of resumption of academic activities at public schools in the FCT and the country at large, on Monday, after the end of the official yuletide break.
Our correspondents, who visited some schools in the FCT, reports that most of the schools, were operating skeletal academic activities, as the environment were virtually deserted.
It was gathered that while a few private schools are recording higher turnout, others are yet to reopen for the academic session.
However, a cross section of the students/pupils who were separately interviewed, expressed joy over the immediate resumption of schools after the yuletide break.
According to them, it shows that the authorities and their teachers were committed to impacting knowledge on them.
At the Government Day secondary school, in Wuse 2, few students were seen around the school environment, while some teachers and the principal were having meeting.
However, it was observed that despite the low turnout of students in the school, normal lessons have already commenced.
According to a cross section of some of the students at the School , who did not want their name mentioned in print, “our teachers are still teaching of us, even thou some of our colleagues are yet to resume or even return back from their Christmas and New Year holidays.
“But we hope that by next week, every activities will resume fully, as we believed that our friends (other students) will be back and we continue our studies together.
“Some of the students like to resume second week from resumption date, especially after Yuletide break, as many parents travel to their various villages for the season.”
They continued that “another reason while some of our fellow students have not resumed, could be school fees, as after the Yuletide season, some parents most have ran out of cash to offset such.
“And some parents don’t have enough money to pay for their children fees even though they want them to go back to school for the academic session.
“However, by next week or before end of month all school activities will resume fully and our schools will be full of students like before.
“The school cannot wait for everyone to resume before starting their usually class lessons, and when our friends returned from their holiday, they will collect notes from us and copy.”
Similarly, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the Government Secondary School, Area 10, Garki, few students were spotted in classes having lessons.
The school’s Vice-Principal (Administration), Mr. Salawu Ishola, told NAN that no fewer than half of the students population reported to school for resumption, while majority of the teachers reported.
“Sincerely speaking, it was an average attendance, just about half the students’ number; for the teachers, at least 80 percent of them resumed.
“Probably, some of the students are running away from cleaning; they think that they will be used for cleaning and clearing of the bush if they come to school.
“At least they will clean their classroom and environment before they settle down for lessons; the new order is that, teaching must take place on the day of resumption,’’ he said.
According to him, normal teaching has started as there is a new directive from the Universal Education Board that normal academic activities must commence immediately schools resume.
In the same vein, at the Government Secondary School, Tudun Wada, Zone 4, few students were seen milling around, while the principal and teachers were in a meeting.
A handful of students were also seen playing as a security man resisted attempts made by the correspondent to talk to the students.
The Model Secondary School, Maitama, looked deserted, while few students were seen strolling in.
The Vice-Principal (Administration), who declined to disclose her name, said she did not have the right to comment on the turnout of students.
She said it was the duty of the chairman of the FCT Secondary Education Board to comment on the issue.
“Issues concerning school resumption and others lie on the FCT Secondary Education Board.
“She has sent out her inspectors and they were here this morning; they will go round the schools and report back their findings to her,’’ she said.
On her part, the Vice-Principal (Administration) of the Junior Secondary School Sabon-Gari in Gwagwalada, Mrs. Ibok Eyoanwan, expressed her dismay over the fewer students returning for classes in the school.
Eyoawan, however attributed the development to the holidays been short as a result of Ebola virus pandemic as wells as some parents who travelled with their children, and did not come back on time.
She disclosed that some of the students who already resumed at the school had settled down for t heir academic pursuit.
The Vice-Principal, therefore advised parents to always send their children back to schools, whenever the holiday was over, as according to her, any student who did not resume on time would be derailed academically.
Also speaking, the Head Teacher at Pilot Science Primary School, in Gwagwalada, Alhaji Alkali Ibrahim, warned parents and guardians against leaving their children at their various homes when the holiday was over.
He noted that despite the low turnout, some pupils who are serious with their studies have been attending their classes as at when due.
He stressed that Christmas and New Year celebrations should not deter parents from sending their children to the schools during the resumption.
Pointed out that any parent who did not allow their children return to school would be acting out of ignorance, Ibrahim therefore, appealed to the parents to deem it necessary to purchase the needed materials for their children, so as to encourage them in their studies.
Not left out, the Vice-Principal (Academics) of the Government Day Secondary School Gwagwalada who did not want his name mentioned in print, said that good number of students had resumed in the school.
A parent, who gave his name as Mohammed Jimoh Abubakar, attributed the not too impressive return of students to schools, to the economic hardship being faced by some parents.