SCHOOL RESUMPTION: A MERCANTILE EDUCATIONISTS BUSINESS IDEA OVER EBOLA MALAISE
Educating the next generation of Nigerians is indeed opportunity to set the roadmap for continuous development and leadership continuity. It is also important to note that allowing the future generation to go extinct especially when such a situation could be prevented amounts to administrative madness especially now that we are aware of the mercantile undertone to the shifting pendulum in the school resumption debacle.
The federal government has been praised for the first time as it is not only heard to be tackling a national issue but actually seen with traceable results tracking down and knocking off Ebola, the biological weapon of mass destruction.
Nobody wants their children to miss school except for good reason (s). The evil in this reason has certainly given 'good' reason for children in Nigeria to stay - back-at-home (indeed the hash tag – #staybackathome# suffices). There is need to study the trends, aside the airports we still have porous borders where people, articulated vehicles pass unnoticed even under the watch of security operatives. Humans with the virus could traverse in their droves unchecked.
There are cases of toddlers having the Ebola virus and the transmission rate is going to be ridiculously high between children especially in kindergarten. They touch anything and their mouths samples whatever the come in contact with.
Adults can avoid handshakes, apply hand sanitizers, skip suspicious objects and even survive quarantine. Children, with particular reference to those in play groups up to junior secondary cannot.
To give directives for school resumption will be premature, suicidal/reckless. We must focus on the 'web of transmission'. From an infected toddler to the next toddler and to adults as they pass through the hands of family members, family friends, teachers etc.
If the 'web-mix' of how many people a toddler can come in contact with within hours registers on our deductive reasoning, then once can imagine the spread an infected classroom can go in a single day.
While this might be subjected to unnecessary debate, it is becoming obvious that private school owners are looking at the mercantile value rather than the medical negatives. After a gallant battle against the mass killer (Ebola), the Nigerian factor is creeping in.
Interestingly, the major problem Nigeria has yoked itself with is the issue of making money out of every single opportunity. The case of insurgency is indeed a traceable example - an experience which has left Nigerians living in flash point areas in social, economically and politically strangulated, yet politicians, our military commanders are smiling to the banks while the human cadavers pile in undulating heaps.
Our unity as a country is bargained on resource control, leadership saber rattling and administrative impunity. This virus shouldn't be subjected to bargain on account of those who are only interested in their pockets.
We must therefore understand that every crisis situation in the country, somebody somewhere is feasting in the feeding frenzy of our depleting 'oil lubricated economy'. The puerile verbosity, physical militancy, cyclical insurgency and the psychological and seemingly physical failing status of Nigeria satisfy a very few vultures who feast on crisis in the country.
We have won so far on the Ebola issue primarily on account of the fear factor. Nigerians love their lives and that is a fact. Even those bombing themselves to blazes in the surging insurgency are mostly mercenaries from neighboring countries (we understand their plight, they have nothing to live for). Therefore with the hope of living, government and people of Nigerian worked in harmony to contain the malaise of the deadly disease.
Now well meaning Nigerians must look at the emerging trend carefully, it is either the monies thrown into the pool of ending Ebola crisis worldwide (Bill Gates N8bn among others) might just entice a few cretins in the country to encourage a few spread only for the mischief value to justify spending which they will shift to private accounts, leaving the hapless poor to die. On the other flipside, the profit driven school proprietors - the major issue at stake will encourage resumption to sustain profit.
While ending Ebola in Nigeria is not necessarily tied to school resumption, there is need to properly balance the situation within safety margin to avoid spoiling the good job of containing the spread of the ravaging virus.
Unfortunately, there are Nigerians out there who have hardly had the time to contemplate on the negatives in allowing our schools to resume in less than 11 days from now but are ready to see children embrace possible 'blood boiling virus' just to satisfy absolute foolery and buffoonery.
We must be mindful of the Nigerian factor. Once highly placed Nigerians can control the spread in their families and among their friends, the concept of 'the fewer, the merrier' will apply. At that stage, the patriotism, doggedness, focus and collective agenda of knocking the dreaded virus off will pave way for the 'Nigerian Factor'
Though debate is on going on the matter -very uncalled for in the first place as government insists on Sept 22nd new resumption date.
Government must therefore apply caution to avoid yielding to self based discretion of some merchants looking at profit rather than the apocalypse the dreaded Ebola presents to the global human family.
Written by Ebije Israel.