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Impressive turnout of pupils as the 2022/2023 academics session begins

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A section of JSS3 students of Girls’ Secondary School, Awka in their Wednesday wears

AS primary and secondary schools in Anambra State resume for the 2022/2023 academic session on Tuesday, massive turnout of pupils, students and teachers were observed in most private and public schools in the state, as both students and teachers were seen in their various classes and academic activities have returned to normal.

  Some of the schools visited include Girls Secondary School, Awka, Igwebueze Nursery and Primary School, Ifite Awka, among others.

  At Girls’ Secondary School Awka, Lizzy Onuorah Uche-Ibeneme, the Vice Principal, General Studies and School’s Image Maker said: “For us in this school, this new academic session started with pre-resumption meeting for the staff and another one for the management staff and this was held last Friday, September 16. Then, the school resumed in earnest on Tuesday, September 20 although we had some challenges, that is sanitation wise because the premises was overgrown by weeds as it is the peak of the rainy season and the weeds overgrew the premises.

  “Because we have an organised principal, Mrs Felicia Ebeagu, who is unavoidably absent today,  so in this series of meetings that we had, we organised how best to keep the compound clean, like the grasses in the field had been cut with mowing machine by the staff. For the other parts of the premises, every class had been instructed to clean their frontage and their back and this is division of labour and this makes the cleaning easy. The remaining one will be done bit by bit.

  “Alongside cleaning the compound, the children are also taking their resumption test which was yesterday. About the turnout of students, it is indeed very encouraging. This is hugely as a result of the resumption exercise (test) because they know that as soon as the school resumes, the test will hold and it is very important.

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  “As for the teachers, almost all of them started yesterday because they have to be there to make sure that their subjects are taken and also to carry the books of their pupils for marking. So they all turned up. We also have problems of teachers because a lot of teachers have retired and there is no commensurate replacement. So to make up, most schools now borrow teachers and by this borrowing, I mean getting P.T.A teachers. This is just a strategy to close up gaps. The problem actually is that teachers retire every year and recruitment for new teachers is not done yearly. By the time government is ready to recruit, a lot of batches have retired and gaps will be created by this massive retirement. Even next year, it is expected that the 88th batch of teachers will retire, about a thousand or two and the government is currently recruiting only 5000 teachers (for both primary and secondary).

  Speaking  on their school resumption activities in St. Lucy Group of Schools, Christy Nkenke, the Vice Principal, Academics (Secondary section) said: “Our school resumed yesterday. We did our normal compound cleaning, then the teachers entered their classes to give their students what we call ‘resumption tests’. This test is always taken at the beginning of every term and it is based on what they did the previous term. The tests are still ongoing today for those classes that were not able to take theirs yesterday. From that yesterday too, teachers that were ready were given their scheme of work.

  “About the turnout of students, it is quite impressive. Almost all the students came back from that yesterday, partly because of the resumption test which is part of their continuous assessment and it is 10 marks. Also because it was a long holidays and parents and children as well are eager for school to resume. So the turnout is very impressive. Then for the new intakes who may not have met the test, I personally collect their names and classes and make sure that they are given their own test later so that they will not miss out.

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  In her own contribution, the Headmistress in charge of Nursery and Primary section of the  school, Florence Atuenyi said: “We resumed our 2022/2023 academic session yesterday with our normal compound cleaning.

The main compound cleaning was done on Monday, while the children resumed the following day. So when we came on Tuesday, the pupils were given what we call “corridor” test. It is a test that we normally take on the first and second day of school resumption and it is very important so no one wants to miss it.

For the new intakes and some pupils that their parents called to say they were not able to meet up with the test, we later accommodate them by allotting some fraction of the marks to them, but it can never be like pupils who actually resumed school and took the proper test.

 “So, because of this ‘corridor’ test, there is an impressive turn out of our pupils and a good number of new intakes. You can see that for yourself. Classes and every other academic activities have started in earnest and from yesterday, every day counts. All our teachers also have resumed and have reported to their different classes.

  “Again, about the turnout of teachers, it is also impressive, and they have reported to their various classes. Although our literature teacher left because she got a job elsewhere, but we have another teacher for that subject and she has been replaced. 

  While Ikedimma Cecilia, the Headmistress, Igwebueze Nursery and Primary School 1, Ifite, Awka, said: “As you can see, the normal academic activities have fully started in this school. We resumed yesterday, Tuesday, and the pupils were given their ‘corridor’ test that same yesterday. Today, we started with our normal resumption ‘mass’ by our manager, Rev. Fr. Remigius Obasi and after that, we started our lessons  and as you can see, the pupils are now in their classes with their teachers and their normal lessons have started fully.

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 “The turnout of pupils is very impressive, irrespective of the rain, almost all our old pupils are in school and the new intakes are still trooping in as you can equally see. The ‘corridor test might be said to be a stimulus in the massive turnout of pupils, but don’t forget that the holidays was actually long and parents are eager for schools to resume despite the expenses that come with the resumption.

“But our problem here is in the area of teachers. This is a very big school with more than 500 children and more are still coming. Against this great number of children, we only have 13 teachers handling these children and this is really a big challenge. But recently, by an arrangement of the management of this school and parents of these children, nine  teachers were employed, but this is still nowhere to being enough,  so we are asking the government to send more teachers to this school to make teaching and learning in this school more effective”.

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