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COVID-19: FG lists fresh guidelines for reopening of schools

A teacher engages the pupils with the TC

The Federal government has released new guidelines that must be met before schools would be allowed to open for academic activities.

The government, through its Ministry of Education had on March 19 ordered the closure of all tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools nationwide following the outbreak of coronavirus.

Opinions have also been divided on whether schools should re-open but the federal government recently declared that schools would remain closed until it was certified that the situation was safe.

However, the new guidelines, developed by the ministries of education, health and environment would allow the schools to run their programmes under a safe and hygienic environment.

Some of the new guidelines as contained in the document signed by the minister of education, Adamu Adamu included the action plan on attendance, social distancing, cleaning and review of the use of schools for other activities.

“COVID–19 pandemic poses an enormous risk to the health and safety of learners, teachers, parents, school administrators, education practitioners, and the wider community…as a responsible government, it is also our duty to provide comprehensive guidelines for a safe and hitch-free reopening of schools and learning facilities.

“We do so knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities,” the  government said in the report.

The report noted that in instances where social distancing and the two-meter rule may not be be applied, risk assessments must be undertaken with the best interests of the learners, teachers, and other education personnel in mind.

“The scenarios require organizing learners and children into small groups with consistent membership and compliance with the risk mitigation strategies. The membership of these groups should not change unless the NCDC public health guideline suggests otherwise.”

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, had in June listed 6 conditions that must be met before schools would be allowed to re-open for academic activities.

According to him, “All Institutions must have (1) Hand-washing facilities, (2) Body temperature checks (3) Body disinfectants at all entering points to their major facilities including the gates, hostels, classes, offices, etc. (4) The whole premises of each institution must be decontaminated and (5) All efforts must be geared toward maintenance of the highest level of hygiene (6) Ensure Social and Physical Distancing in class sizes and meeting spaces.”

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