He advised all institutions to obey and adhere to the guidelines for the reopening of schools, earlier announced by the presidential task force on COVID-19 (PTFCOVID19).
The Education Minister said all unity schools should open by October 12, while states and private schools will determine their own modalities of reopening
“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, Honourable Commissioners of Education and relevant international organizations.
”Consequently, after due consultation with the Presidential Committee on COVID-19, we have decided that 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, urged school owners to ensure social distancing procedures, develop and display at schools and conduct 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.
He warned that schools that failed to adhere to outlined COVID-19 safety protocols, risk closure if there is an outbreak from such institutions.