From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Federal Government has given approval for public and private schools in the country to resume academic and non academic activities from 18th January, 2021, as earlier scheduled.
Government said the decision followed the review and appraisal of COVID-19 situation in Nigeria and safety of schools as students return to schools.
Ben Goong, the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Education, in a statement released in Abuja, on Thursday, encouraged schools to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safety protocols while they are open to students.
Part of the statement reads: “The Ministry has undertaken a comprehensive appraisal of the situation. 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 was that the resumption date of 18th January should remain, while parents and respective institutions must ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
“To this end, there must be compulsory wearing of facemasks by students, teachers and workers in all schools. There must be temperature checks and hand washing facilities at strategic locations in all schools, as well as constant supply of water and hand sanitizers.
“Similarly, there should be enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days. Students should also avoid overcrowded places, including limitations in class sizes and hostel occupancy.
“In addition to that, there should be availability of functional health clinics with facilities for isolation and transportation of suspected cases to medical facilities, and strict adherence to all other non-pharmaceutical protocols, restrictions and containment measures as may be prescribed/approved by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 from time to time.”
The Ministry of Education appealed to parents and students to abide by the measures which are to designed to ensure safe reopening of schools for academic and non academic activities.
“Nevertheless, the measures would be subject to constant review, even as teachers, school administrators and other stakeholders are urged to ensure strict compliance,” it added.