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COVID-19: Nigerian govt clears air on reopening of schools






The Nigerian Government has cleared the air on the reported move to reopen schools amid the continuous spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, on Wednesday said that the Federal Government was making plans for students in exit classes to write their respective final exams contrary to reports that it’s reopening schools.

The Minister pointed out that despite the closing of schools because of the coronavirus pandemic, exams are critical for the academic progress of students.

“We presented to the PTF and by extension, the Federal Government, the plans by examination bodies to hold their exams. The exams are critical for how children progress,” He said on Channels TV’s Politics Today.
“We examined it and we felt that it is important to allow those examinations to take place but ahead of them taking place, it is important that those children who have not had the opportunity to revise their syllabus, should have an opportunity to go through that and have a revision class before the exams.”

He noted that most people who can afford the revisions from their homes are already saying they will not be returning to school but go to the exams from home.

“But we understand the limitations of the average Nigerian because not everybody can afford laptops and devices and so if there are people who do have this access and feel confident that their children are ready for the exams, well, we are not compelling anybody to go to any school.

“What we have done is make the facilities in our schools available,” he said.

“You all know that education is on the concurrent legislative list and we’ve asked that state government’s that own these schools, to provide places to wash hands, check the temperature of the children constantly, have sanitisers in place. Private schools should be able to provide that.

Nwajiuba said this is not a compulsion, adding that the government was just making facilities available for those who want to write the exams.

Earlier last month, Nwajiuba, had said schools may reopen in Nigeria, when the ban on interstate travel has been lifted.

The Federal Government decided to shut down Schools nationwide in March, to curtail the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

The Minister also insisted that the government was not willing to take chances with the health of children.

The Federal Government on Monday lifted the ban on interstate movement.

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, made the announcement during the daily media chat of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Mustapha said the directive would take effect from July 1.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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