By Segun Awofadeji
The Bauchi State Government has directed primary and secondary schools in the state to resume on October 12, 2020 to complete the 2019/2020 academic session, subject to the compliance of COVID 19 regulations on school reopening.
This was contained in a circular, signed by the Commissioner for Education, Dr Aliyu Tilde, which was made available to newsmen in Bauchi.
According to the circular, given the low cases of COVID-19 reported in the country and the pressure from parents and counsellors of the side-effects of prolonged school closure, some states like Lagos, Kogi, Taraba and Plateau have reopened their schools fully or partially.
The circular stated that the development led to the meeting of school exchange programme, where commissioners of education of the 19 northern states gathered to discuss among other things, the issue of reopening of schools and calendar last week in Abjuja, where a decision was taken, subject to the approval of the state governors that schools will be opened between now and October 30, 2020.
It stated that the decision to reopen schools was taken at a stakeholders’ meeting, which had in attendance, representatives from the ministry of education, health, SUBEB, Bauchi State Agency for Nomadic Education, Special Schools Management Board, Nigeria Association of Private Schools, among others.
“At the meeting, the stakeholders resolved that no school should resume unless it meets the conditions stipulated in the schedule, which implies that not all schools may resume on October 12.
In Bauchi State, the school COVID-19 reopening template which was used to reopen the SS3 classes in August will be expanded to cover other classes.
“That all schools with low population can resume fully and run thier usual school hours since social distance can be achieved while observing other COVID-19 school protocols. Also, parents will provide face masks for their children on all school days and schools under the ministry of education are to use the N700 per child PTA charges to provide infra-red thermometer, COVID-19 buckets and soaps, while the ministry takes care of the fumigation.”
“Schools under SUBEB and private schools can charge N200 per child for the provision of infra-red thermometer, COVID-19 bucket, soap and decontamination. That all schools should contract decontamination to BASEPA, which will issue a certificate to that effect. No school should reopen without prior decontamination subject to BASEPA. The school 2019/2020 llcalendar will continue till the end of this year and a new school year begins on January 4, 2021 and ending in August 13, 2021,” the circular read.