Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Kogi State Government on Tuesday announced the reopening of schools at all levels on September 14, including Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions in the State.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon Wemi Jones, FCIB, made the announcement at a press briefing on Tuesday in Lokoja.
According to the Commissioner, the State Government arrived at this decision after series of interaction with the relevant stakeholders and assessment of both private and public schools in the state to ascertain their level of preparedness and safety for reopening of schools from COVID-19 break.
‘You will recall that His Excellency, Gov Yahaya Bello, had directed the closure of all schools from primary to tertiary institutions in the state from March 23rd, 2020, because of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Subsequently, upon the directive of the Federal Ministry of Education, exit classes were opened for Primary 6, JSS3 and SS3 in Kogi on August 10, 2020, to particularly allow the SS3 classes to prepare and write the WAEC examination.
‘Therefore, upon further review having had several meetings with relevant stakeholders, His Excellency has directed that all schools in Kogi State should fully reopen on September 14, 2020, that is two weeks from today,’ he said.
The Commissioner stressed that the State Government arrived at this decision after assessing the situations of schools especially for the exit classes that had resumed, saying ‘we have not recorded any negative report as far as COVID-19 pandemic is concerned.
‘Hence, His Excellency dimmed it fit for every school to open for full academic activities.
‘He, however, advised and encouraged all heads of every school to ensure full compliance with the Covid-19 protocols which had been clearly set out by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
‘He noted that all these details and guidelines on COVID-19 protocols by PTF were available and in public space.
‘The Ministry will review the state’s Academic Calendar accordingly to reflect on the new development, and the details would be worked out and released to the relevant stakeholders in due course before resumption.
‘However, we encouraged that all relevant educational stakeholders like ANCOPSS, ASSUS, SUBEB, NAPPS, Heads of Tertiary Institutions in Kogi State, NUT, STETSCOM and every other stakeholders are very free to liaise with us at the Ministry for further clarification.
‘We are equally informing the general public, parents, guardians, schools heads that we are very particular about the health and safety of our learners in Kogi State.
‘So, the State Government will not stop at anything to ensure that our learners are kept in good condition as far as COVID-19 pandemic and indeed other diseases or health issues are concerned,’ he said.
He encouraged everybody to play their roles to ensure personal hygiene reiterating that personal hygiene remained the personal responsibility of everybody.
‘For the higher institutions, I have personally placed direct telephone calls to the heads of all state’s tertiary institutions and I had discussions with them to ascertain their level of preparedness. It appears that all of them are fully ready for schools’ reopening.
‘We have equally asked them to get in touch with the Ministry should there be any further requirements in order for them to make their institutions safe for the benefit of students and staff,’ the Commissioner said.