Covid-19: Niger Directs Reopening of Schools for Exit Students

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By Laleye Dipo

The Niger State Government has directed the reopening of private and public schools for exit students from next Monday.

The Commissioner for Education, Hajia Hanatu Jibrin Saliu, who gave the directive in a statement made available to newsmen in Minna on Wednesday, said the order affects only Primary 6, JSS 3 and SSS3 students.

“It is expected that all principals and proprietors of public and private schools will prepare and put all necessary COVID-19 safety protocols in place in accordance to the guidelines on the reopening of schools.

“In this regard, all principals and proprietors of public and private schools are to make arrangements to receive SS 3 boarding students on the 9th and day students on the 10th August, 2020,” Hajia Salihu said.

She explained that the Ministry of Education will ensure that all schools are fully prepared and compliant with all safety procedures using appropriate checklist and obtaining a written “No Objection to Open” on clean bill of health by the Ministry.

According to her, further measures to ensure safety of the school community will include reduced hours of work and revision to four hours per shift, compulsory temperature monitoring and handling of any suspected case of COVID-19 to the holding centres in the schools and reporting same to health authorities including strict physical distancing both in the classes, laboratories, libraries and hostels.

Jibrin added that government will continue to do everything possible to make the school environment habitable through the provision of masks, hand washing facilities, arrange for temperature monitoring for both staff and students, and enforce the fumigation of all public and private schools in order to decontaminate and disinfect the schools.

She commended all partners in the education sector, especially parents, the press and other relevant education stakeholders for “their wonderful support and understanding during this extra ordinary time. Together we will overcome the challenges of COVID-19”.

Schools in the state have remained closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.