The Federal Government has announced the full reopening of 104 Unity Schools across the country from October 12.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who made the announcement at a press conference, said State Governments and private school owners are at liberty to reopen anytime from the said date.
According to him, the reopening should be based on guidelines developed for the safe reopening of schools.
He urged the colleges to abide by the COVID-19 protocol guidelines developed to curtail the spread of the virus.
The Minister threatened to shut down any school that fails to obey the protocols.
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, Honourably Commissioners of Education and relevant international organizations.
”Consequently, after due consultation with the Presidential Committee on COVID-19, we have decided that at 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.
The Minister however urge School owners 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 added.