Essay on Back to School Post Covid
This COVID19 pandemic took a lot - it's still taking lives and property, relationships and time. My last experience in school was when I wrote my SSCE which is also because of the imposed lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Otherwise, I ought to be finishing the second semester of my 100 level programme in the university. Now, I am home waiting for my predecessors to be done with theirs even when I have secured admission in the university. Anyways, without delineating any further on the time consequence of the lockdown and deviating from the essay topic, in the next few paragraphs, I will be writing about my WASSCE and/or SSCE experience during the pandemic lockdown and post-COVID, which I earlier mentioned is my last experience in school.
The real date for my WAEC exams which was held during the lockdown was preceded shortly by so many news from the government who had earlier postponed it till further notice. Then, they stated that we were going to write it with this year's candidates when proper conditions were put in place in order to safeguard the lives of students and teachers. However, the government directed only SS3 and JSS3 students to resume school one week before the proposed date of the exams in order to have quality preparatory revision classes with the teachers.
Now, this was a really short notice, for I had read on the internet about how many teachers and students from different schools complained to the government about the impending mass failure due to lack of preparation and abrupt end of the session’s curriculum. They had seen the impossibility of running a crash programme for certificate classes and lamented on the laxity of the government to ensuring that the impending projection of failures was avoided. But for my classmates and I, there really was not much tension going on because my school ensured the completion of the curriculum by SS2 and all revision of the completed 3-year senior secondary school curriculum done via online classes with our teachers during the lockdown.
When I resumed school on the first day of the post-COVID, there were many differences, not just the smaller look of the whole area which was because of the long period of time we had been away from school but there were also new changes. Flashback to my entry into the school bus before I got to school, one has to be properly checked with the infra-red thermometer - used daily and constantly to check students’ temperature. In the school bus, there was much created space between students; this was feasible because there were few students in JSS3 and SS3 while most of us were now being taken to and from school by our parents. Hence, there was the practice of the social distancing method instructed by the government and the health institution. We always wore our face masks. In the school premises, very close to the school gate and by the entrance was a tap with soap to apparently wash your hands. The school also ensured there was also a staff to help check-in visitors’ temperature and ensure they washed their hands very properly before entry and guide them through a carefully mapped out path called the COVID WAY to the classrooms. This path which led from this point to the back of the school and from there one would enter the blocks through the corridor was usually long and time-consuming. This was stressful because one had to stand in line and wait for the person in front to wash his/her hands and also to do the temperature check again. You also had to maintain social distancing when walking down the path.
On the corridors, there were circles drawn. Also, in the classrooms and exam hall there were also large spacing between chairs, so that we also maintained social distancing. Proper ventilation was always ensured, even in the bus, to allow us get enough oxygen. It does not end there; one would still put on our face masks because we were not to take it off at all. During the exams, there were changes. In addition to our writing materials, we took with us hand sanitizers which were to be used immediately after we got our question papers and after we submitted. When writing we were advised to not take our hands to touch the face and also to avoid touching too many surfaces so that we did not carry germs as well as spread them.
Extracurricular activities like sports and games that required close contact between players was dismissed. The only game we could now play was table tennis. This was not really felt as much as it normally would, albeit, towards the end of my WASSCE, the boys were missing their football and so they made a request to our school principal. She replied by saying that they would only play on some certain conditions which required that some basic rules of the game be changed. She also added that parents would have to sign off an agreement to validate the boys playing football game. And so, it was done, the boys ended up getting their pleasure on the last day of the WAEC exams despite the strict conditions.
Hitherto my NECO examinations, which took place about a month plus after the WASSCE, I was to do my last project presentation. By this time full resumption of all classes had taken place, so I met the freshers, even some new staff had been employed. Now also we were no longer called SS3 students but Pre-graduands. Just before I started making my presentation I had to get acquainted with the new faces present in the hall. This was not easy though, I mean for someone like me that had stage fright, but I still wore my confident look on and did an excellent job in the presentation. It had helped me, I now know that when you prepare well for something, you will perform maximally. Now I don't have stagefrights anymore_ a good change :)
As I had earlier said the Covid-19 has taken a lot and also made us to create certain changes around us and also made us modify our habits. It has unsolicited effects but it is for the best, moreover Winston Churchill said, "to improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often". Now I am still home, but I am not at all idling around. I have been able to keep the zeal for my education by studying my 100level semester courses ahead of time, by checking out for scholarship opportunities and also by participating in essay competitions such as this. In the face of the continued threat of the Covid-19 surges, I have modified my plans for university life; I have made good hygiene keeping one of my utmost priority by making the face masks a part of my dress code and wearing it properly, regular washing of my hands, not taking my hands to my face, avoid touching too many surfaces, avoiding handshakes and close contact with anyone as much as possible. Finally and before I close, I am also making sure I get all the materials I need for school and double some where I can so that I don't have any cause to share with people and also protect my health and that of my acquaintances and friends’.