Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Government has approved all schools in the State to resume on Monday, September 21, for the 2020/2021 academic session.
The Commissioner for Education, Professor Dennis Ityavyar, made the announcement during a briefing with newsmen at the Government House in Makurdi on Wednesday, saying both public and private primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are to abide by the directive.
The Education Commissioner explained further that third term for other categories of pupils and students except JSS 3 and SSS 3 had been cancelled, including payment of school fees.
‘Let me emphasise on the issue of school fees so there is no confusion because if third term is cancelled, school fees for the term is also cancelled. But in the case of JSS 3 and SSS 3, parents are expected to pay their third term fees. However, those who have not done third term, they don’t need to pay fees and this applies to private and public schools,’ Prof Ityavyar clarified.
He added that it was the collective decision of stakeholders in the education sector in the State that all tertiary institutions be fumigated and COVID-19 protocols strictly observed, stressing that parents are to provide facemasks and hand sanitizers, while school authorities provide hand washing facilities and monitor compliance with social distancing in terms of sitting arrangement.
Professor Ityavyar said that schools with high population would have to operate morning and afternoon sessions to avoid congestion, stressing that strict monitoring would be carried out to ensure compliance.
The Education Commissioner, acknowledging the compliance of Benue people with COVID-19 protocols, said first term would end on December 18, while second term of 2020 and 2021 would commence on January 7, 2021 and end in March next year.
Professor Ityavyar, in another development, urged the people of Benue with requisite qualifications to apply for the National Teachers Scheme under the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC), adding that interested persons could contact SUBEB for details.