The Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has revealed that both government and private owned schools in the federation had not been permitted to resume academics, maintained lockdown continues.
This came as response from the minister after it was reported in the Nigerian daily newspapers that schools are expected to be reopened by June despite the raising cases of Coronavirus in the country.
According to the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the Federal Government is planning to reopen schools but debunked the rumor of a fixed date in June.
The Minister who spoke yesterday at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, that it is true that the government is looking at reopening schools but ‘not in the next two weeks as speculated’, adding that “no doubt schools would be reopened soon but until they are properly resourced.”
Minister Nwajiuba further reiterates that no exact date for the resumption has been announced by the President Muhammadu Buhari‘s “Next Level” government as speculated in the Nigerian media.
He said, “We all are seriously interested in reopening and I believe we will reopen soon. But I can’t confirm what your children said that we will reopen in two weeks. The issue around reopening has nothing to do with the availability of the schools or not. It has to do with national governance. The idea of shutting down the schools has nothing to do with the schools per see.”
“You heard the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the SGF, keep saying it is a national response. It is a single national response and everything we do flows from that. When they determine, I’m sure you have seen all the experts here, that there is the measure of safety to which we can expose our children, we will gladly do that. We are watching and we are working with all bodies within and outside the country.”
The minister of education added: “The five countries of West African Examination Council (WAEC) are meeting and I just came out of a meeting with African Union (AU) Ministers of Education, everybody is concerned as you are. We hope to reopen very soon.
“This morning, I met with the Ministry of Science and Technology. We are looking at putting a system in place that can disinfect every child as he goes into a school and disinfects him as he goes out.”
“If we resource our schools properly we can begin to reopen. But we must be able to ensure that the children go in safe and come out safe and not become a conduit for further infection in society,” the minister of education reiterated.
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