ON Monday, social media was awash with the news of the federal government indefinitely postponing the reopening of schools owing to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Several footages and images from some prominent Nigerian media houses quoted the minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to have issued the directive in a statement at the daily COVID-19 briefing in Abuja.
This purported decision by the government has since generated a lot of backlashes and criticisms against the government by many Nigerians, especially tertiary education students, who have been at home for nine months as a result of COVID-19 and the recently called-off strike embarked by Association of Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in March 2020.
The federal government, through its relevant agencies in the education sector, recently issued a clearance to all schools in the country to reopen for academic activities on the 18th of January.
What the minister said
However, while fielding questions from reporters who wanted to know whether the government would stick to its earlier position concerning reopening of schools, Adamu said the government was still reviewing the process.
“It (January 18 date for reopening schools) is not sacrosanct. When we decided on that date, it was just a target towards what we were working on,” Adamu had said.
“Of course, we are keeping it in view and looking at what is happening in society and then it is supposed to be subject to constant review.
“Even today (Monday) at the PTF meeting, we looked at the rising figures and thought about if we should probably take another look at it. On the January 18 resumption, we are reviewing it, we are going to review it. At the PTF meeting today (Monday), we considered it and tomorrow (today, Tuesday), the ministry is going to take it up.”
Based on what the minister said as monitored by The ICIR, reports about the indefinite suspension of school resumption are FALSE. As of the time of this report, no decision had been taken by the federal government to indefinitely move the reopening of learning institutions in Nigeria due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.