© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
House of Reps To Review Schools’ Resumption Date
The deputy chairman, Media and Public Affairs committee of the House of Representatives, Victor Afam Ogene, has said that in view of latest developments on the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, the lower chamber will review the resumption date for schools across the country.
Ogene, who was responding to questions from journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the leadership of the House had resolved to mandate its committee on Education to take another look at the issue in the overall interest of the pupils and students, parents and guardian and the general well-being of the entire country.
In the wake of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in the country, the minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, had announced a postponement in the resumption date of schools from September to October 13, 2014, so as to give the country’s health authorities enough time to ensure containment of the disease.
However, owing to pressure, especially from private school owners, that the delay in resumption would adversely affect the school calendar, the minister was compelled to settle for a new date of September 22, 2014, after a meeting with stakeholders in the sector.
Defending the House position for a review, Ogene said that given the reality that some persons are still under surveillance and the likelihood of having other cases, there is the need to put the safety of children and that of the entire country into consideration, in arriving at when best to order a re-opening of both private and public schools.
“You will recall that upon the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus disease in Nigeria, the House Committee on Health rose up to the occasion by interfacing with the health authorities, the result of which is the positive containment efforts and call-off of the strike by doctors in the country,” the lawmaker said.
Only on Monday, a group known as Africa Health, Human & Social Development Information Service ( Afri-Dev. Info) warned that the reopening of schools, involving no fewer than 80 million children, adolescents, students and teachers was a high-risk venture, which poses grave risk to all concerned.