Class Size and Covid 19 Protocols in Primary School
1.1 Background of the Study
The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic increased the gaps in the education sector globally. Though, the Coronavirus pandemic is novel, but it already has noxious effects on humanity. COVID-19 outbreak has created educational disruptions, and global health concerns that proved very difficult to manage by global health systems. As at now, no nation or race across the world is immune from the coronavirus pandemic, and the entire world seems overwhelmed by the speed of the spread and the devastating effects of COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has no boundaries, and the effect is large and fast. Just within few months of the outbreak of the disease, it has drastically changed the lifestyles of the entire world with billions of people being forced to ‘stay at home’, ‘observe self isolations’, and work and learn from home. It has limited the freedom of people to move, trade or associate. Not only has COVID-19 caused a total lockdowns in many countries across the world, but it also caused the death of thousands of people including, women, and the elderly. It was more worrisome to know that reports from various continents, including, America, Africa, Asia, and Europe indicated a daily increase in the number of new cases, and mortality due to COVID-19. As at April, 2020, the number of global COVID-19 cases has surpassed one million cases and more than 220 thousand deaths. It was also frightening that the USA recorded more than 2000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day despite the country’s strong commitment to the fight against the contagion. The number of Coronavirus deaths was soaring with no immediate solutions in sight. The disease showed no sign of slowing down across the globe. The COVID-19 outbreak triggered the President of the United States, President Trump to invoke the “Defense Production Act”. The government also issued a national emergency as a result of the growing number of new cases of Coronavirus in the country (Priscillia, 2020). The U.S government also negotiated with the parliament to approve more than 2 trillion US dollars stimulus package to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, and to provide some reliefs to citizens and businesses affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Similar actions were also replicated in many other countries including, Germany where 810 billion US dollars were also set aside to contain the effects of the pandemic, yet the virus rapidly spread to many parts of the world.
The outbreak of COVID-19 affected all aspects of human activities globally ranging from education, research, sports, entertainment, transportation, worship, social gathering/interactions, economy, businesses, and politics. Indeed, the entire world was in distress as a result of COVID-19 threats, the reality of the situation was challenging to bear, and the education sector remains one of the worst-hit by Coronavirus outbreak.
Certain materials or substances used in controlling and preventing Covid 19 spread includes:
- Face mask
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand gloves
- Solid antiseptic
- Anti bacterial soap
- Alcohol – gel
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The institution closures are impacting not only the students, teachers, and families, but have far-reaching economic and societal consequences. In response to school closures, UNESCO recommended the use of distance learning programs and open educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners remotely and limit the disruption of education.
According to UNESCO monitoring as of 7th July 2020, approximately 1,067,590,512 learners have been affected due to school closures in response to the pandemic, 110 countries have implemented nationwide closures, impacting about 61% of the world’s student population. Several other countries have implemented localized closures impacting millions of additional learners. Solely in Nepal, about eighty- seven lakh students ranging from preprimary to tertiary education level [ISCED levels 0 to 8] are affected due to COVID-19 pandemic closure. While it is difficult to predict how the pandemic will unfurl, the possibility of extended restrictions on physical distancing exists.
The United Nations had reported that 166 countries closed schools and universities to limit the spread of the coronavirus which affected about One and a half billion children and young people, representing 87 percent of the enrolled population.
In Southeast Asia like in many other developing regions, a large segment of the population doesn’t have access to the Internet and electronic devices. And even people with access to the Internet experience some infrastructural divide. The infrastructural gap can be seen through several circumstances, including the discrepancy of Internet speeds in different regions. People in the city centers often enjoy significantly faster Internet compared to those living in less developed areas.
According to reports, total of 821,249 subscribers are using the internet in Nigeria in 2019. The country has a population of 29,086,128 as of 2020, based on Worldometer which depicts that not all students have access to high-speed internet. Even those with high bandwidth internet have found that service is getting interrupted or slowing down due to high collective consumption as more people are using the internet to work, socialize and entertain themselves during the lockdown. While data packages on mobile networks are relatively faster, they are also far more expensive for students to afford on a regular basis.
Limiting class size, use of facemask and sanitizers are parts of covid 19 prevention protocols in the public internationally. This research will focus attention on class size and prevention protocols of Covid 19 in public primary schools in Kaura Ward of Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.3 Objective of the Study
- To examine the effect of class size in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools.
- To examine the effect of hand sanitizing in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools.
- To examine the effect of face mask in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools.
- To examine the effect of hand washing in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the effect of class size in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools?
- What is the effect of hand sanitizing in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools?
- What is the effect of face mask in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools?
- What is the effect of hand washing in the prevention of Covid 19 in primary schools?
1.4 Significance of the Study
The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment. People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.
The study intends to correct awareness on the effectiveness of class room restriction, face mask, sanitizer among the pupils in public primary schools in Kaura Ward in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is delimited to the effect of class room restriction, face mask, sanitizer in prevention of Covid19 in public primary schools in Kaura Ward of Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.7 LIMITATIONS TO STUDY
The study faced some challenges, however, the major constraints of the study include:
- Time: The researcher did not have enough time to carry out this study coupled with other academic activities. There was constraint of time in going to places where data and information relevant to the study could be obtained.
- Finance: A lot of money is required in data collection, analysis and interpretation. The researcher is constrained financially. Owing to this constraint, the researcher had to select primary schools in Kaura Ward, Zaria in Kaduna.
- Attitude of Respondents: Some of the respondents showed lukewarm attitude towards the study. This is because there was no financial benefit attached to it. A few others withheld certain information due to confidentiality.