“We Are Not Reopening Schools Now” – State Govts. Officials


Despite the low cases of covid-19 in Nigeria, states like Sokoto, Gombe, Ekiti, Bauchi, Enugu, etc. have said they are not reopening schools now in a reaction to the reopening of Lagos State schools. They are not ready to take following Lagos State to reopening schools under their jurisdictions.

During separate interviews, the officials of the state governments said they are not ready and will follow Lagos State decision to reopen schools.

It should be recalled that schools ranging from primary schools to tertiary institutions were closed in March as a measure to prevent the spread of covid-19 in the country.

However, senior secondary school 3 and junior secondary school 3 have been called back to sit for their West African Examination (WAEC).

The total number of recorded cases in Nigeria as at August 29 stands of 53,727.

The states with the highest figures so far are Lagos State, 18,104 cases; FCT, 5,149 cases; Oyo State, 3,107 cases; Kano State, 1,725 cases as of August 29.

Lagos State having the highest figure so far have come to a conclusion that its schools be reopened on September 14.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State governor disclosed the information and announced that the resumption date for primary and secondary schools would be fixed tentatively for September 21.

He said the step was triggered by the decline in the number of covid-19 cases in the state.

“We will look at the various database and use empirical data available.

“The indicator that will determine when we are going to open depends majorly on the Federal Government`s readiness to reverse the order so that we will not be seen as a state that is anti-Federal Government.

“That is on one side. The second one is that even at that we will still rely on empirical data that science provides to guarantee the safety of our children when they return to school. So the fact that Lagos has done it is not an indicator that we have to be in a hurry to do it.”

The Special Adviser to the governor of Ogun State on Public Communications, Remmy said.

“We won’t follow any person’s timetable. We want to see events after the WASSCE and the JSSCE, whether students got sick, whether teachers got sick. So far, we have not seen any breakdown of students or teachers falling ill. We are still studying them. If there is no outbreak of illness, then we may start the schools.

“But for now, we have not decided. We have not known the basis for the directive in Lagos State. But there is the possibility that our tertiary institutions resume this year. I think secondary schools also, before the end of the year. I have asked around, we have not seen any hot spot of COVID-19 as far as the ongoing examinations are concerned.”

Prof. Bolaji Aluko, the coordinator of the Ekiti State Covid-19 Task Force said.

“No decision to that effect yet. We are in close touch with the Federal Ministry of Education.”

Prof Uche Eze, the Enugu State Commissioner stated.

“Bauchi does not follow Lagos. We will open when we are ready.”

Bauch State Commissioner for Education responded via an SMS.

“No notice yet on resumption of schools and higher institutions in the state. The public will be duly informed when they are to be reopened,”

Public Relations Officer in the state Ministry of Education of Kastina State, Mallam Salisu Kerau

“The safety of these students matters most because only the living reads; only the living goes to school. If there is no safety in the schools, we can’t reopen.”

Gombe State Commissioner for Higher Education Dr. Meshack Audu stated.

“The decision on the likely date for the resumption of our tertiary schools will be decided by the task force on COVID-19, constituted by the state government.”

The Permanent Secretary in the Sokoto state Ministry for Higher Education, Othman Ali said.

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