Flood: What Bayelsa Schools' Resumption Means To IDPs
After extensive considerations, the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education has decided that schools should resume on Monday, November 5.
But it is a resumption that means a lot to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in most schools. They have been sacked from their homes by flood that ravaged all the local governments in the state.
Schools have been shut since October 4 after many of them were affected by the flood disaster that was declared a National Disaster by the Nigerian government.
Academic activities have been crippled for a month, but the Commissioner of Education, Mr Jonathan Obuebite, announced the reopening of schools on Saturday.
He, however, advised school authorities to thoroughly clean and fumigate the affected schools.
Mr Obuebite also stressed the need for students to be closely watched for the first few weeks to avoid danger, as the flood continues to recede.
The announcement of schools' resumption was greeted with cheers by some residents while others, including the IDPs, expressed fears that it was too soon.
A civil servant, Mrs Gloria Ake, told Bounce News that her children would resume school one week after the resumption date.
"I want to be sure that the school is properly cleaned before they resume.
"Parents should not be in a hurry to send their children back to school.
"An extra week won't hurt," she warned.
A teacher at the Community Secondary School Etegwe, Mr Linus Igiriki, is happy that students would be able to write their first term examination and encouraged parents to allow their wards resume on Monday.
He said they had lost time already, but how ready the students are to resume is one thing that is not certain.
A little girl hawking sachet water at Tombia Market, who simply identified herself as Beauty, however, is not ready to resume immediately.
She says she will have to wait till examination time before she resumes.
"The flood carried our batcher house at lgbogene," she said.
Her intention is to sell more bags of sachet water and help her mother start her petty business again. Beauty's mother sells roasted plantain popularly called 'boli'.
"Nobody will miss me in school because my friends are suffering too because of the flood,” she added, emphasising her lack of interest in resuming early.
The flood that affected all the eight local governments in the coastal state has started receding mostly in Yenagoa, the capital of the state, but some communities in the rural area are still flooded.
Many of the victims are in displaced persons' camps established in some school across the state and now that the schools are resuming, they are worried.
Will the displaced persons the displaced persons be chased out?
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