Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has announced that all schools in the territory are to reopen on October 12, 2020, for the 2020/2021 academic session after learning activities were disrupted seven months ago by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FCT Minister, Mohammed Musa Bello, made the announcement yesterday at a stakeholders’ engagement attended by the FCT education secretariat, the Nigeria Union Teachers (NUT) and the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS).
He also directed boarding schools to resume on October 11, adding that all COVID-19 protocols are to be maintained by all returning students and the schools.
Bello described the reopening of schools as probably one of the most painstaking decisions that the FCT Administration had to take as a team.
According to him, “In opening the schools, we have to be very careful and conscious of the need to ensure that all our efforts in the last few months are not in vain.
“This is based on the reality on ground as well as the inputs and advice of medical personnel, the guidelines of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) and releases from the Federal Ministry of Education.
“We have come to the conclusion that it is relatively safe for us to open up schools in the FCT base on certain guidelines and conditions which will be released shortly,”
The FCT Administration issued a guideline which forbade private schools from demanding third term fees, while the maximum class size should be trimmed to 25 students per class.
The guidelines were read by the Chairman of FCT Schools Resumption Committee, Dr. Fatima Abdulrahman.
She directed schools to conduct revision and examination to tidy up and end second term within two weeks after an intensive revision. The first term will then resume immediately. Schools are mandated to have sick bays where students with high temperature would be kept under the watch of health personnel pending the arrival of their parents
Abdulrahman warned that any school that does not comply with the guidelines risk closure in event of an outbreak of COVID-19 out of negligence.
Meanwhile, ahead of school resumption, the FCTA has embarked on the fumigation of all public schools across the six area councils of the territory.
The exercise was performed yesterday to protect pupils, students and management staff of public schools against COVID-19 pandemic at the Government Junior Secondary School, Garki, by the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu.