The federal government of Nigeria says it is not true that it has given go ahead for the resumption of schools on June 8, 2020.
Speaking on the reopening of schools in the country, the Minister of State, Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said during Wednesday’s daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, denied that the government had given a June 8 date for resumption emphasizing that the safety of school children is a core issue to consider before the reopening,
He said: “Those who are listening to us here should begin to listen to these plans. We don’t want to keep saying we are not ready. It is a forewarning to private and state governments that the only condition for which we are going to be reopening anywhere is that these places become ready to receive students and bring them home safely.”
The minister disclosed government that the reopening of schools may be staggered between students in junior and secondary levels to allow for social and physical distancing adding that, “We will do the same thing for primary school children where we may limit the number of children per class.
“What this may mean also is that we may have classes in the mornings, and then, have classes in the afternoons. So, whichever is convenient for you will now be divided. So that the whole of the infrastructure we have provided can serve us at different times.
“I am not sure whether there will be classes at night. We can do with morning and afternoon at the moment.”
The minister said that the ministry would also look at the sanitary condition of the schools before reopening, noting that schools must be ready to display manually-made hand sanitisers’ machine and be ready to receive the students by providing all the needed materials to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Nwajiuba explained that for tertiary institutions, there would be need to have a semester within a semester for the students.
He added that while some courses would do their semester first, others would follow suit in a bid to maintain social distancing measure.
He urged lecturers in tertiary institutions to use the period to upgrade themselves.
“Period like this should not be wasted and tertiary institutions must be functioning.’’
For secondary school students, the minister said that those in senior secondary might resume before their junior counterparts.
He said the plan was that the children should resume by the time schools had achieved the physical distancing measure.
He said: “For our secondary schools, we expect those who run them; our school based management committee (SBMC) should be able to look at what they need to do to manage them (schools) so that when we say that we are ready, there will be some readiness alongside everybody.
“We are going to publish a specification as to what we expect Covid -19 or post-covid-19 to look like. We are not talking about coping with COVID -19. There is a difference. We have come to understand that Covid -19 May not necessarily go away. So, we expect that we will adapt in the presence of Covid-19 what to do not in the absence of it. This is in spite of Covid-19 we will still have to work.
Schools, from primary to tertiary were closed nationwide by the government in March at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic spread.