Following the false alarm which caused pandemonium in Ika land, last week Wednesday 11th October 2017, Ika Weekly Newspaper reporters visited several schools in Agbor during the week to examine the extent of the effect of the false alarm on school activities.
Excerpts from various schools visited below:
Mrs. Rita Nnani, the head teacher of Success Kid School said that the rumour did not have many effects on school activities, because they have become aware that the false alarm was a mere rumour. Mrs. Nnani, however, said that due to the chaos caused by the rumour, so many persons were involved in accidents while rushing to pick up their children. She used the opportunity to caution parents to desist from acting on rumours, until they have been certified to be true. She advised the government to beef up security in the region to forestall any security breach and to ensure proper dissemination of information to the public in order to help the people have a better knowledge of what is happening in their locality.
Mrs. Josephine Mordi, the principal of Ogbemudein Model Secondary School, Agbor appreciated the military men whose presence helped in forestalling parents from forcefully breaking into the school to pick up their wards. She said that, there was no disruption of lecture in the school, as everyone went about their normal activities, not minding the false rumour or the panic of parents. She further stated that Ogbemudein Model Secondary School was calm, with teaching, going on smoothly amidst the chaos in the town adding that everything went well the following day being Thursday 12th October. She advised parents to always be calm whenever they hear such rumours in the future; saying that the children\students are in the hands of school authorities between the hours of 8am-2pm, assuring that with God on their side, the school authorities will safeguard the children within the time frame.
Mrs. Mordi said that the calmness which the school experienced in the midst of the rumbling in the town can be according to her attributed to the finger hand of God upon the school. She also urged parents to always call to confirm information or call on security agencies in the case of future occurrences.
Pastor Mrs. Edith Aleh, the proprietor of Phoenix group of schools said that the school did not react to the news in any way as teaching went on smoothly, without any hitch by parents who showed up to pick their children, but were not allowed to do so until the normal closing time of the School.
A school authority who plead anonymity in one of the schools visited by Ika Weekly Newspaper reporters stated that although the false alarm created a serious upheaval in the school on Wednesday, , nevertheless, school activities have returned to normal. According to the spokesman for the school, “the pandemonium resulting from the disturbances of parents, seeking to rescue their children, led to a virtual halt in School activities on that very day. Some people were severely injured as a result of accidents that occurred. However, school activities returned to normal the next day as the school recorded only six absentees. By Friday, every activity in the school had completely normalized’. When asked by the Ika Weekly Newspaper reporters on his advice to parents on how to react to rumours, he replied: “Parents are right to react to such things, because they can’t know for certain what is true or not. However, parents should use their discretion, when reacting to such news”.
At Agbor Model Primary and Secondary School Agbor, the Principal Mr. Alex Onwusigwe said that indeed, Parents were positioned in large numbers, at the gate of the school, to pick up their children either by blood or by iron; however, he locked the gate, thereby effectively ensuring that academic activities were not disrupted by the parents. According to Mr. Onwusigwe,”I did not receive any memorandum [white paper] from the government, indicating a breakdown in the educational system. Thus, I had no reason to be disturbed by any rumour. We were not affected by the rumour at all, because I closed my gate. Parents had no access to their children, until closing time”.
When asked about how best parents can react in event of future occurrences, he said: “reaction to rumours or news is a personal thing. Parents are free to react in whatever manner they deem fit.”
On getting to Owa Model Primary School, Owa, School activities were clearly going on fine, as children were seen playing outside, being that it was break period.