Nigerian Children Want End To COVID-19, Pay Welfare Attention

Some children on Wednesday urged government at all levels to give increased attention to their well-being especially in the areas of welfare, health and education.

The children, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, stated that if supported and encouraged, they would make their families and the nation proud.

They said that though they might not understand all the intricacies of COVID-19, they hoped the situation would be addressed to enable them go back to school and also live their normal regular lives.

Mckayla A’bube, a nine-year-old Primary 4 pupil of the Handmaids Intl Catholic School, Aguda, Surulere said: “Today is Children’s Day and we are supposed to be celebrated.

“The COVID-19 has affected our going out for sightseeing or visiting our friends. I will want the government to do all it can to address the situation and re-open schools.

“This year’s Children’s Day has not been interesting; also, I wish government can reach out to children on the streets, orphanages, people under the bridges and show them that they care.

“If these children, and all of us are given adequate encouragement and good training, we will make everyone proud,’’ she said.

Ogomide Ayanlade, an SS3 student of CMS Grammar School, Bariga, said that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought a great set back especially to students, who are supposed to pass out of secondary school in 2020.

“We are full of so much anxiety, no specific date for writing our West Africa Senior Secondary Examination (WASSCE), which we ought to be finishing by now.

“We have studied so much and we are getting tired and full of anxiety.

“We ask God to come to our aid and let this pandemic leave our world, so that life can return to normal,’’ he said.

Also, Michael Ulanmo, a JSS 3 student of the Igbobi College, Yaba, said that governments should place more emphasises on education.

According to him, the learning environment is not conducive and students learn under crowded, harsh and distracting environment.

“When you have not eaten well, slept well, sick or thinking of how your parents are struggling, it affects our young minds.

“Ìf you groom us well, we will attain our potentials; even those on the streets, if monitored well, I believe they can become responsible; it is about nurturing, grooming, opportunities, system and also God,’’ he said.

Ulanmo, however, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had also been a setback to education with parents spending more money buying data for online lessons.

Chikum Peter-Ihechu, a Primary 4 Pupil of Marie Louise School, Surulere, said that though she had learnt a lot about COVID-19 through the numerous advertorials, her academics had , however, been slowed.

According to her, sending assignments to be done online is not the same as being in a classroom setting with a teacher who will teach, monitor, supervise and immediately correct.

She also told NAN that most of what she had heard about support during the COVID-19 was greatly exclusive of children.

She advised Nigerians to show more love and empathy to children and also urged governments to endeavo to find solution to COVID-19 pandemic.

Emmanuella Chimezie , a JSS 1 student of Our Lady’s of Apostles Secondary school, Yaba, said: “This Children’s Day should ginger our leaders to think about the future of children.

“Everybody is harsh on us. Many of us don’t eat well or dress well or are not healthy. Many students go to school in tattered uniforms and sandals, looking unkempt and carefree.

On COVID-19, Chimezie said: “The pandemic has really made me to lose contact with my friends in school.

“Staying at home is really boring, no friends to play with and interact with except my siblings,’’ she said.

Another Nigerian child, Idong Okon, who is in Primary Six, said that he hoped the COVID-19 would not affect his entrance to the Secondary School in 2020 , as he looked forward to being in boarding house.(NAN)

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