Federal Government Approves Schools Reopening

The federal government has approved the full reopening of schools across the country for the commencement of the new academic session. Legit.ng reports that the national coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, gave the directive at the PTF briefing on Thursday, September 3. Aliyu, who directed the schools to conduct a risk assessment, said the reopening would be done in phases. He said: “For educational institutions which includes – daycare, primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions should we begin the process of working towards potentially reopening within this phase.

“However, we strongly recommend that states conduct risk assessment to ensure that all schools are at a level of compliance and create a monitoring mechanism to access and monitor this level of compliance. “Meanwhile all daycare and educational institutions are to remain closed to in-passing classes until this level of risk is assessed and if there will be opening up schools, it must be staged and preferably carried out in phases to ensure that this does not pose a risk to the general public, and in particular developer bill groups that might end up getting infected by students going back home. The federal government had ordered a nationwide closure of schools in March to contain the spread of COVID-19 but in July, the government approved the reopening of schools for students who are currently sitting for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Meanwhile, ahead of the proposed resumption of academic activities in Lagos and some other states of the federation, the PTF on COVID-19 called for caution among the stakeholders.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, cited how such haste escalated the COVID-19 management situation in some other countries. Mustapha said it would be in the best interest of Nigeria to stick to the pattern proven effective since the national response was launched.

In another report, two days after the announcement of the resumption date for all schools in Lagos state, the Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) unit of the state ministry of education warned the public to disregard a resumption time table flying around on the social media. The time-table claims to be the 2020/2021 academic calendar, states that the first term of the session would start September 21, 2020 and end December 18, 2020.

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