The Minister of Education has now confirmed that schools can begin to re-open as from 18th January, 2021. This was confirmed after extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, following concerns raised on 12th January.
There had been a debate on whether or not reopening schools would further escalate the spread of COVID 19, considering overcrowding in classes, and the ability of institutions to provide necessary sanitary materials. After the consultations, the following agreement was reached.
Here is the full text of the statement released by the Federal Ministry of Education:
“Sequel to the hint given during the press briefing on 12 January 2021 for the review of the proposed resumption date of 18th January 2021, the Federal Ministry of Education 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 is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain, while parents and respective institutions must ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols including:-
(i) Compulsory wearing of Facemasks by all students, teachers and workers in all schools
(ii) Temperature checks and hand washing facilities at strategic locations in all schools
(iii) Ensuring constant supply of water and sanitizers
(iv) Enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days.
(v) Avoiding overcrowding, including limitations in class sizes and hostel occupancy
(vi) Availability of functional health clinics with facilities for isolation and transportation of suspected cases to medical facilities
(vii) Adherence to all other non-pharmaceutical protocols, restrictions and containment measures as may be prescribed/ approved by the PTF from time to time.
“These measures which are to ensure safe reopening of schools for academic activities will be subject to constant review as we urge teachers, school administrators and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance.”