The Federal Government has upheld January 18 for reopening of schools and commencement of academic activities across the country which had earlier been put on hold to mitigate spread of coronavirus.
It explained that the reopening date was upheld after due consultation with relevant stakeholders including Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors, and heads of institutions, staff unions, and students across the country.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said that though the apex government had upheld fixed date for resumption, all academic activities would be carried out under strict adherence to coronavirus preventive measures put in place by relevant authorities, including a ban on visitation to schools by parents and guardians.
Through a statement on Thursday by the ministry’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Ben Goong, in a statement on Thursday, Adamu noted that all modalities for reopening would be subjected to reviews as things progress and that adjustment would be made to suit prevailing realities.
He added that the stakeholders at the meeting also approved the compulsory wearing of facemasks by all students, teachers, and workers in all schools across the country to eliminate learning environment transmission of the deadly virus.
Other approved measures, Adamu said, included compulsory temperature checks and provision of handwashing facilities at strategic locations in all schools, ensuring a constant supply of water and sanitizers, and enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days.
The minister added that 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 were listed as conditions to be met by schools before reopening.
Furthermore, Adamu enjoined school owners and managers to ensure adherence to all other non-pharmaceutical protocols, restrictions, and containment measures as may be prescribed and approved by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“These measures which are to ensure 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,” the statement added.