- Cautions FG Against Postponement
From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
The federal government on Wednesday made clarification on the review of resumption date for schools in Nigeria, disclosing that the Minister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu was misinterpreted.
Recall that Adamu had on Monday said, “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,” The Minister said.
But the Director, Press and Public relations at the Education ministry, Mr Ben Bem Goong, while addressing journalist in Abuja, affirmed that schools across the country will resume for academic activities on January 18, if there is no spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.
“The Federal Government has not postponed January 18th resumption date. The Minister said January 18th is subject to review by going by reported COVID-19 cases.” He said.
Goong further added that “if COVID-19 Task Force gets up tomorrow and says we are having over 5000 infections and we can’t resume, that is the review we are talking about,”
Also, the President, National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS) Com. Asefon Sunday who opposed the review of resumption date emphasised the importance of re-opening schools across the country.
He said, “School resumption will help the students, teachers, and lecturers to avoid social gatherings, regular travels while concentrating on the task of teaching and researching, which can also help to trigger the need to have a new alternative and approach to fighting the pandemic”
“As student representatives and stakeholders, we make bold to state that having students and lecturers on campuses and in schools that are regimented and regulated environment, will help to raise consciousness and the bar of compliance with COVID rules.” Asefon, said.
“Accordingly, the federal government is immediately urged to rethink its approach and take only actions that can get more Nigerians into coordinated and regulated systems, like schools and offices, where hours of wearing face masks and complying with COVID Safety protocols can be guaranteed to curb the spread.
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, had also insisted that the date for school resumption remains January 18.
“As regards schools, I just want to make a clarification. What the minister said yesterday was that they were going to review, he didn’t say that they were going to change the date. He said they will review the situation and let the nation know,” Aliyu said.