The House of Representatives Committee on Education will today meet with stakeholders to resolve the contentions surrounding the federal government’s directive for schools to resume on September 22.
The Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Victor Ogene, said those expected at the meeting include delegates from the ministries of Education, Health, Labour and Productivity, as well as the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Parents and Teachers Association, PTA, among others.
There had been continuous disagreements over the date for school resumption since the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in August.
At the early stage, the federal government proposed that school reopening be delayed until October 13 to allow health officials enough time to contain spread of the disease, but due to pressure mounted by proprietors of private schools who argued that the arrangement would greatly distort the academic calendar year, the resumption date was reviewed to September 22.
While this date appeals to the private sector, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has joined other stakeholders to plead that schools remain shut until the Ebola disease is completely eradicated in order to avert a major crisis situation.
Reacting to this call last week, the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said “there is no scientific basis for schools’ resumption to be postponed. There is no community transmission of the disease in Nigeria. That is what separates Nigeria from other countries. It is what I call irrational fear and we don’t need to be irrational about this.”
Today’s meeting is expected to take another look at the issue in the overall interest of the pupils and students, parents and guardian, schools and the general well-being of the entire country.