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As Children’s Day is celebrated globally amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nigerian Government says plans are on for the safe reopening of schools in the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha said this at the daily joint press briefing in Abuja, Nigeria.
In his message, the SGF said the Children’s Day celebration brings to mind the need to build a legacy that would guarantee a safe and secure future for children.
” Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation was faced with the challenge of out of school children. This has now been compounded by the compelling need for closure of schools as part of the measures to limit the spread of the virus”.
” The PTF has been deliberating on this situation and wish to inform Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Education will roll out measures to be put in place for safe re-opening of our schools,” he said.
The Chairman of the PTF also congratulated children and assure them, parents and all hands were on deck to reopen the schools at a safe time.
” We therefore use this medium to urge States, local governments, proprietors and other stakeholders to begin to take steps that will facilitate an early and safe reopening,” he added
Many schools in Nigeria were closed by the Federal Government to protect children from being exposed to the Coronavirus in March.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Minister for Education, Mr. Emeka Nwajiuba has said that schools across Nigeria will not reopen until the Federal Government can guarantee that it safe for children to go back to school.
It can be recalled that schools in Nigeria were closed by the Nigerian Government due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 and have remained closed since then.
At the daily press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 While also celebrating Children’s Day, the Education Minister assured Nigerians, that government was monitoring the situation and is putting measures in place for the safe return of students to school.
“Until we are sure that our children can go to school and return safely without taking Covid-19 home, we are not ready to take the risk of opening schools.”
He said at the daily press briefing of the task force today. Mr. Nwajiuba said that the Federal Government will rely on the opinion of experts and the guidance of the World Health Organisation before announcing any school resumption dates.
Nwajiuba said government was working on a model to ensure that all the children do not return to their schools at the same time to ensure physical and social distancing as well as proper sanitation and hygiene at every school.
The plan entails adopting a two-shift system and allowing those who will write exams to return earlier than others. He urged State Governments and owners of private schools to plan ahead on how to ensure maximum safety for students when the resumption plan is unveiled.
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