Flood: Bayelsa Students Chased By IDPs As Schools Reopen
Some students in Bayelsa State that were tired of staying at home as a result of flood had resumed with zeal on Monday, but that zeal was deflated when they got to their classrooms.
They saw adults that had turned their place of learning to bedrooms.
It was a scene they had not envisaged, but it was there waiting.
Few days ago, when the Commissioner of Education in Bayelsa State, Mr Jonathan Obuebite, announced the resumption of academic activities, he may have missed one aspect of the situation on ground.
Flood crisis had forced the state government to ask the students to go home and rest until the water recede, but the empty schools became homes for persons displaced by flood.
They had settled in and were picking up the pieces of their lives even when the facilities were not conducive.
Some have had to sleep on bare floor while some are in buildings that do not have windows or even toilet facilities.
The toilet provided for the students had become a place of convenience for adults and their number had subdued the facility.
Flood had receded a bit and the government thought it was okay to ask the students to return to school just to ensure that they do not get carried away with the break.
But Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were still using the schools and this is one thing the government may not have considered.
Bounce News had asked if they would be sent out of the school for the students to use them.
Now, the reality is staring the state in the face.
On Monday, which was the first day of resumption, some students of Community Primary School in Edepie were seen being chased by an elderly man who had found home in the school after he was sacked by the flood.
The students had entered their class, but were chased out by the man.
One of them that refused to mention her name said they were being chased for sitting inside their classroom turned bedroom.
The IDPs now sell sachet beverages, local gin and snacks in front of the classrooms which serve as their bedrooms.
Across the state, some schools were seen open for academic activities, especially those not occupied by persons displaced by the flood.
Students of B.B and Top Meriam Academy located at Edepie, were seen marching into their classrooms after their morning assembly.
A teacher, who would not want her name mentioned, told Bounce News that the call for resumption of schools was too soon as those in the villages are still flooded.
"I am afraid of instructing my students to sit in dirty classrooms or do the cleaning. "Government should help us to clean and fumigate our school," the teacher said.
She explained that every corner of the school had been converted to a toilet by the present occupants and emitted offensive odour.
A parent, Mrs Agba Agba, seen within the premises of a private school said she was there to inspect the level of cleanliness to enable her decide whether her children would resume now or not.
While some students are enthusiastic about resuming, a scenario at Swali Market, says a different thing entirely.
Children were seen hawking sachet water and other commodities at the market.
When the Commissioner announced the resumption, he had instructed the schools to fumigate the environment, but authorities in schools visited by Bounce News said they were not giving anything to fumigate the school with.
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