The Federal Government has ordered unity schools in the country, earlier closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to reopen on October 12th, 2020.
Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, announced the reopening of the learning centres on Friday in Abuja, during a news conference and explained that the decision was reached after due consultations with stakeholders and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The Minister explained that with the level of preparations put in place to test and the flattening of the infection curve, the government has come to the conclusion that it is now safe to allow the reopening of schools.
According to him, schools across the country, are, however at liberty to fix resumption dates and ensure that there are adequate safety measures while doing so.
Mr Adamu equally warned that schools who fail to adhere to outlined COVID-19 safety protocols, risk closure if there is an outbreak from such learning facilities.
As part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education on March 19, 2020, ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary as well as primary schools nationwide.
“We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately,” the ministry said. “Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March.”
As the Federal Government continues to ease a lockdown imposed at the onset of the virus – the country is recording lower COVID-19 cases in recent months – several state governments have announced dates for the reopening of the learning centres.
Despite the declining infection rate in the country – with total cases pegged at 59,001 as of Thursday, October 1, 2020 – the Nigerian government is calling for caution, stressing that the battle against the pandemic is not yet over.
“We will continue to work with communities, we will continue to work with the government and the private sector but it is really important that people protect themselves,” the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu said in a Channels Television’s special Independence Day programme on Thursday, warning that “COVID has not gone away; we should not be complacent.”