Coronavirus: FG gives deadline to school proprietors to release guidelines for safe reopening schools

Nigeria’s Federal Government has given school owners till 29th July to meet specific guidelines for the safe reopening of schools.

The government said schools were expected to undertake self-assessment and send feedback to State Ministries of Education, not later than 29th July, 2020.

It said an official date for safe reopening of schools will be announced once these guidelines are finally put in place.

Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the Minister of State for Education, stated these on Friday in Abuja.

Nwajiuba said the Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE), having consulted widely, has in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Education in Emergencies Working Group, developed and circulated guidelines for the reopening of schools.

In a statement on Friday Ben Goong, the Director of Information, FMoE, the minister said school owners are expected to prepare and comply with the guidelines.

“Thereafter, consultations with relevant stakeholders will be held to review the situation and decide on a specific date for reopening or otherwise.

“Furthermore, the Minister said, having taken the painful but necessary decision not to reopen schools without necessary preparations to ensure the safety of students and teachers, the Federal Ministry of Education has continued consultations with stakeholders, and a mechanism to assess and monitor compliance shall be put in place,” the statement said.

Furthermore, the Minister said the ministry has consulted with Commissioners of Education in the 36 states, the Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria,(APSON), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools,(NAPPS), Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, some State Governors and development partners since Tuesday last week.

Nwajuiba speaking on WAEC said: “We met with WAEC on Monday and have agreed to further consult with four other countries on a new examination date.

“We appreciate the concern shown by all stakeholders and note the divergent views expressed on the matter.

“Parents should be rest assured that the safety of our students and teachers is paramount as we work assiduously towards speedy reopening of our schools for the exit classes to take external examinations.”