The Federal Government has disclosed that it is not convinced yet that schools should fully reopen. This was disclosed by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, on Thursday in Abuja at a meeting of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 with the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee (NTLC) on National Primary Health.
According to Nwajiuba, the federal government is still evaluating the situation. “At the moment, we have not come to the point where we can say we are convinced that schools can manage themselves and reopen comfortably. “Our teams have gone out and we will use the whole of this week and next week to do a proper evaluation. “We are going round to see the level of compliance but most importantly we are waiting to get an update on all the facilities in every part of Nigeria: “So, it is a work in progress,” he said.
The minister said the government believes the opinion of experts that 15 per cent of transmission of the pandemic is from the school environment.
He added this is the reason the government is advocating remodelling of classes especially in schools where there are no enough classrooms for social distancing.
“We can do a tier system, some can come in the morning, maybe the junior classes and the senior classes can come in the afternoon. “We are also working out guidelines such as the washing of hands because the school must go on at one point,” he said.
The minister said they experimented with the system in the past weeks during the West African School Certificate Examinations and the Joint Admission Matriculation Examination and it seems to have worked so far apart from an incident in Gombe where a child contacted COVID-19.
He called for between the federal government and the states for a seamless and safe reopening of schools, particularly at the primary level.