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25 June 2020

FG sets stringent conditions for school reopening

The stringent conditions for the reopening of schools contained in the guidelines submitted to the National Assembly by the Federal Ministry of Education, may force some schools to close down their operations.

According to the document, each school is required to create temporary isolation space and fully equipped clinics before reopening.

They are also to establish a referral system, including protocols and procedures to take if learners, teachers, administrators and other education personnel become unwell while in school.

Apart from that, the Federal Government in the document, mandated any state wishing to reopen schools to hold adequate consultations with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the parents.

The guidelines also require school proprietors to construct additional structures and employ more teachers to ensure that they accommodate their pupils by adhering to the two-metre spacing system in classrooms.

Proprietors of schools have also been asked to seek grants to procure soap and buckets, ensure regular safe water supply, ensure constant supply of learning and instructional materials and pay salaries on time.

The Federal Ministry of Education had presented to the National Assembly, a detailed proposal on its plan to reopen schools across the country.

The Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, appeared before the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education on Tuesday, but refused to give details of the proposal.

According to the ministry, reopening of schools demands that sufficient provisions, including infrastructure, equipment and expertise, be available in the schools as stipulated in the guidelines.

The guidelines, it said, were to ensure maximum possible safety and protection against COVlD-19 infection, and effective response if anyone exhibits symptoms associated with COVID-19 Infection.

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