The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has released fresh guidelines for the reopening of schools nationwide. This followed the earlier directive by the PTF that schools were free to reopen as from October 12.
Addressing journalists at Thursday’s briefing of the PTF in Abuja, the National Coordinator of the taskforce, Dr Sani Aliyu, said the fresh guidelines, which schools must strictly adhere to, were developed by the PTF in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He explained: “Schools and educational bodies that plan to reopen must have detailed communication protocols that include parents, school health teams, school authorities and local state officials.
“They must also have a system for providing regular updates to parents, staff and relevant authorities as well as communicate changes to procedures effectively and clearly as well as taking effective measures to understand how COVID-19 can spread and how to mitigate the spread in line with official guidelines.
“Specifically, school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly and is wearing a mask and sanitising their hands. Boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and putting positive students aside. There must be access to running water and hand washing facilities. The health staff, particularly in boarding schools, must be trained and provided with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). There must be appropriate waste management systems.
“Health facilities that are within the schools that serve the schools should have the ability to cater for an outbreak and a response protocol must be in place for these schools for students who test positive.”