The news of the further postponement of schools resumption from 18th January, 2021 in Nigeria was heavy in the air some couples of days back.This had generated various reactions from the masses, especially from the National Association Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS. NAPPS have called on the government to keep schools open, saying the consequences of shutting them down are more grievous than the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic that the government is trying to combat. The Association had stated that no fewer than 30 per cent of its members went bankrupt with some putting up their schools for sale during the closure of schools last year.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 had explained that he didn’t mean that schools resumption will be postponed at any time. He stated that he only mentioned that the federal ministry of education will review the former proposed date of resumption, 18th January, 2021. In support of this explanation, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had on Monday said that the government would review the 18 January date earlier fixed for school resumption due to the rising cases of the COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country.
However, according to the Director of Press Mr. Ben Goong, in the Federal Ministry of Education, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu had cleared the air on Thursday, 14th of January, 2021 when he stated that “sequel to the hint given during the press briefing on January 12, 2021, for the review of the proposed resumption date of January 18, 2021, the Federal Ministry of Education has undertaken a comprehensive appraisal of the situation.”
He stated that 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 January 18 should remain, while parents and respective institutions must ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
So, now that schools are going to be resuming back in the face of the 2nd Wave of Covid-19, the following guidelines have been spelt out for schools:
Schools should put limitations to class sizes and hostel occupancy
There should be strict enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days
Schools should ensure the compulsory wearing of face masks by all students, teachers and workers
Schools should ensure temperature checks and put hand washing facilities in strategic locations
School authorities should ensure a constant supply of water
Functional health clinics should be provided
Facilities for isolation should be on ground
In case of suspected cases, provision should be made for transportation means 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 Minister of Education urged teachers, school administrators and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance and added that these measures for the safe reopening of schools for academic activities will be subject to constant review.
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