COVID-19: FG Speaks On Reopening Schools Nationwide

The Federal Government has announced plans for reopening schools nationwide soon.

However, state education minister Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said schools would not reopen in two weeks as being speculated in some quarters.

He spoke on the COVID-19 news conference in Abuja during the Presidential Task Force on Thursday amid reports that the Federal Government round will reopen schools in the next two weeks.

As part of measures to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government had ordered the permanent closure of educational institutions nationwide.

But while answering questions from the media about when the government plans to reopen to the schools after the lockdown’s easing, Nwajiuba said the schools would be reopened when the school children’s safety could be guaranteed.

He said the government has been mindful of not endangering school children’s lives and further spreading coronavirus in society.

He added that his ministry is working with other related stakeholders and government agencies to put in place appropriate steps that would ensure children’s safety before the schools are reopened.

He said: “We all are seriously interested in reopening and I believe we will reopen soon. But I can’t confirm what your children said that we will reopen in two weeks.
 
“The issue around reopening has nothing to do with the availability of the schools or not. It has to do with national governance. The idea of shutting down the schools has nothing to do with the schools per se.
 
“You heard the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the SGF, keep saying it is a national response. It is a single national response and everything we do flows from that.
 
“When they determine, I’m sure you have seen all the experts here, that there is the measure of safety to which we can expose our children, we will gladly do that. We are watching and we are working with all bodies within and outside the country.
 
“The five countries of West African Examination Council (WAEC) are meeting and I just came out of a meeting with African Union (AU) Ministers of Education, everybody is concerned as you are. We hope to reopen very soon.
 
“This morning, I met with the Ministry of Science and Technology. We are looking at putting a system in place that can disinfect every child as he goes into a school and disinfect him as he goes out.
 
“If we resource our schools properly we can begin to reopen. But we must be able to ensure that the children go in safe and come out safe and not become a conduit for further infection in society.”

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