January 18 resumption date stands, says FG

THE federal government  says the proposed resumption date of January 18, 2020, stands.

The government, however, warns all teachers, students and workers in schools to compulsorily wear face masks to avoid the spread of the deadly COVID-19.

In a statement signed by Ben Goong, director of press and publicity at the Federal Ministry of Education on Thursday, the government said temperature checks and hand washing facilities must be located at strategic places in schools.

“After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, including State Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions and students, the consensus opinion is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain, while parents and respective institutions must ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols,” the statement read in part.

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It added that the federal government had directed that there must be full enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and total suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days.

Other protocol issued by the government included: limitations in class sizes and hostel occupancy, availability of functional health clinics with facilities for isolation as well as transportation of suspected cases to medical facilities.

However, the government did not state the measures it had taken to assist schools in making provisions for the facilities to ensure compliance.

Earlier in June, Abiodun Ogunyemi, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) national president,  had expressed worries over the failure of the government to assign responsibilities concerning the COVID-19.

Ogunyemi said this during an interview with The ICIR on the resumption of Nigerian universities across the country.

    “They failed to assign responsibilities to these guidelines. Who is going to provide for hand washing facilities, is it the federal government or the institution that has low- running cost already. If they want schools to resume, they should provide face masks for all universities across the nation,” Ogunyemi said.

    The ICIR had also reported the failure of the government to provide hand sanitisers, hand washing facilities, among others, to schools in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,  after directing them to resume.

    Nigerian schools are resuming amidst the fears of a second wave of the deadly coronavirus whose cases have recently surged and surpassed 100,000. A total of 1,382 deaths related to coronavirus have been recorded in Nigeria as of January 14, 2020.

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    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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