Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, yesterday laid to rest the uncertainty over schools’ resumption date, reaffirming the January 18 earlier scheduled for students to resume their studies.
Adamu, while answering questions on Monday during a press briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, had said the federal government might review the resumption date due to the second wave of COVID-19 currently ravaging the country.
He said: “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.”
But in a statement yesterday by the Director of Information and Public Affairs in the ministry, Mr. Ben Goong, the Federal Ministry of Education said it had appraised the situation, adding that there is no need to delay school resumption.
It said: “After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, including state governors, commissioners of education, proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions and students, the consensus of opinion is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain.”
The statement urged parents and institutions to ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols, including the compulsory wearing of face masks by all students, teachers and workers.
It also urged stakeholders to ensure temperature checks and handwashing facilities at strategic locations in all schools, as well as the constant supply of water and sanitisers, enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days.
Other measures include: “Avoiding 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, adherence to all other non-pharmaceutical protocols, restrictions and containment measures as may be prescribed/approved by the PTF from time to time.”
The statement said the measures, which are to ensure the 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.”