A statement issued on Wednesday by the State Commissioner for Education, Godwin Amanke, in a statement, said the governor has ordered the production of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) which will be given to pupils free off charge.
“Students will wear face masks and face shields to school. Once at the school gate, the children will wash their hands and legs. Hand sanitisers will also be used. When the children enter their classrooms, they will remove their face masks and use only their face shields so as to get enough ventilation.
“Upon closure, they will put on their masks and go back home. Teachers will wear the same and observe coronavirus protocols in the classrooms,” he said.
Governor Ayade said personal protective equipment were produced at the state-owned garment factory for distribution to the students, who have been at home since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“For Cross River State, we have a strong commitment that our children cannot continue to stay at home. The more they stay, the more the moral decadence, the more indiscipline, the more they become lazy of getting back to school and getting started because for every stage in life, there is a time where you have to be in class and once the children miss that delicate phase, it becomes very difficult.
“I think it is wise for the kids to go back to school and I have seen this happen in China where kids are back to schools with their nosemasks and shields. So you wear your nose mask and you wear your face shield and when you get to school, you drop the mask and wear only your shield to allow for more ventilation and more breathing.
“We believe it is time for the federal government to also show love and support to Cross River State. We have always led from the front and we think the mass production of PPE is an added advantage for which all health practitioners from nurses to radiographers must be equipped with PPE for them to work.
“Because we care, we want to support our public schools with free distribution of PPE. But our PPE for schools is limited only to the nose masks and face shield. But for the health workers in Cross River State, they will be provided at no cost because the government has to borne the cost.
“We have invested massively in the mass production of nose mask and face masks but in the course of time, it became obvious that the PPE is even far more critical because we realize that without the PPE our health workers, our front line workers are at risk and so there is a need for the production of PPE.”
According to the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control (NCDC), Cross River is the only Nigerian state that is yet to record any case of coronavirus that has infected 13,873 people across the country.