As schools resume nationwide for academic activities after the Christmas and New Year break on Monday, schools across the country recorded low turnout of pupils.
In Kwara State, there was poor turnout of pupils in primary and secondary schools on Monday.
Investigations revealed that some of the teachers were also absent, while only few pupils attended classes when our correspondent visited some schools in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
But it was learnt that the most affected schools were those in the rural areas of the state.
A parent, Mr. Ahmed Bello, informed our correspondent that teachers in many schools in the rural areas did not show up for work.
He, however, added that the situation would improve within the week.
Our correspondent also learnt that many of the pupils and teachers were still in the holiday mood.
The Chairman, Nigerian Union of Teachers, Kwara State, Alhaji Musa Abubakar, confirmed the low turnout in a telephone interview with our correspondents.
He said, “Schools resume in Kwara State today but there was poor turnout of pupils.”
Asked why this was so, Abubakar said that the short holiday occasioned by the Ebola shut down of schools last year could be responsible.
Also, a teacher at a public primary school in Ibafo, Ogun State, who simply identified himself as Mr. Toriola, added that a lot of pupils were not used to resuming for schools in the first week of the year.
“If you remember that the school system was shut down for some weeks last year because of Ebola, due to this, we had to rush the children in order to make up for the lost time. This was also the reason why we have a short holiday and children that used to enjoy the first two weeks of the year as holiday could be finding coming to school on January 5 difficult. I’m sure that this will change next week,” he said.
Also, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that attendance in schools on Monday by pupils was poor.
A NAN correspondent who visited some of the schools reported that most schools were deserted as skeletal academic activities were going on.
At the Government Secondary School, Area 10, Garki, few pupils were spotted in classrooms having lessons.
The school’s Vice-Principal (Administration), Mr. Salawu Ishola, said that no fewer than half of the pupils population reported to school for resumption, while majority of the teachers reported.
“Sincerely speaking, it was an average attendance, just about half the pupils’ number; for the teachers, at least 80 per cent of them resumed.
“Probably, some of the pupils 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 classrooms 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.
At the Government Secondary School, Tudun Wada, Zone 4, few pupils were seen milling around, while the principal and teachers were in a meeting.
A handful of pupils were also seen playing as a security man resisted attempts made by the NAN correspondent to talk to the pupils.
The Model Secondary School, Maitama, looked deserted, while few pupils 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 pupils’ turnout.
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 with 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.
By Edos News