From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Education on Thursday, 14 January directed the full re-opening of schools in the country on 18th January.
Recall the Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu had on Monday said that the ministry will review the resumption date for schools in the country owing to the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country.
“It (January 18 date of school reopening) is not sacrosanct. When we decided on that date it was just a target towards what we were working on. Of course, we are keeping it in view and looking at what is happening in society and then it is supposed to be subject to constant review,” Adamu said in a comment that drew criticisms from the students and some varsities, who cautioned against any further postponement of the resumption date.
However, the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, who had earlier made clarifications on the Minister’s statement Wednesday, affirmed there is no change in the school resumption date.
He said the decision to fully reopen schools was reached at a consensus meeting with various stakeholders including– Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions and students.
Also, the meeting emphasized the compulsory wearing of facemasks by all students, teachers and workers in all schools to curtail the spread of the virus as schools resume academic activities.
Other measures include “compulsory temperature checks and hand washing facilities at strategic locations in all schools, ensuring constant supply of water and sanitizers and enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days.”
Goong urged stakeholders to strictly adhere to Covid -19 protocols which includes: avoidance of overcrowding, including limitations in class sizes and hostel occupancy; availability of functional health clinics with facilities for isolation and transportation of suspected cases to medical facilities”
He noted that, “these measures which are to ensure safe reopening of schools for academic activities will be subject to constant review as we urge teachers, school administrators and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance,”.