Nigeria has asked the 104 “Unity Schools” owned by the Federal Government to reopen on October 12. Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu made the announcement at a press conference and added that states and private schools are also free to open their doors after that date.
Mr Adamu said that the ministry would shut down schools that flouted COVID-19 protocols and asked all schools to abide by the COVID-19 protocol guidelines developed to curtail the spread of the virus.
He said: “Having taken that painful but necessary decision, government has not rested on its oars in the areas of consultation with stakeholders, putting together guidelines for reopening of schools and preparations required of school owners to reopen.
“We have consulted widely with stakeholders in the sector, including the Association of Private School Owners (APSON), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, State governors, our development partners, Honourable Commissioners of Education and relevant international organizations.
“Consequently, after due consultation with the Presidential Committee on COVID-19, we have decided that all our 104 Unity Colleges should reopen on the 12th of October 12th, 2020.
“State and private school owners will work out the modalities for the re-opening of schools under their purview,” he said.
He asked school administrators to ensure social distancing procedures, develop and display at schools and conduct a risk assessment with a view to understanding the gaps in the system.
“I strongly urge school owners to put in place systems that meet the following: safe distancing procedures, develop and display at schools simple context-specific reference protocols on day-to-day actions to be operated in each school.
“Conduct risk assessment with a view to understanding the gaps in the system that can increase the risk of transmission and make recommendations for addressing the gaps.
“Safety and hygiene in all stages and phases of the school reopening process which promote behaviours that reduced spread”
“Establish a staff/students Committee for regular surveillance, monitoring and enforcement of COVID 19 guidelines,” he said.