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Nigeria Announces Fresh Conditions for School Reopening

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By Niyi Adeyi

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government (FG) has announced keeping a safe distance as one of the preventive measures to be taken in the new guidelines required to reopen schools and other learning institutions.

FG Monday said it was time for it to plan and address the eventual safe reopening of schools and learning facilities.

The guidelines document which was released Monday was signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of State (Education), Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

It was developed in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Health and health safety experts in Nigeria.

“However, there are exceptions where the two-meter rule cannot be reasonably applied and other risk mitigation strategies may be adopted. Examples include early years, younger primary school children, and those with additional needs.

“In these circumstances, risk assessments must be undertaken with the best interests of the learners, teachers, and other education personnel in mind. The scenarios require organizing learners and children into small groups with consistent membership and compliance with the risk mitigation strategies. The membership of these groups should not change unless the NCDC public health guideline suggests otherwise’’ the document stated.

Following the release of the documents, the government is to conduct a rapid assessment and determine funding requirements for upgrading infrastructure and facilities (such as classrooms, furniture, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene-WASH and ICT facilities) to meet and sustain prescribed safe school reopening requirements.

The guidelines also incorporate the review of existing policies, practices, and risk mitigation strategies in the use of schools for other purposes, such as distance learn-ing centres, temporary shelters, isolation, quarantine and treatment centres, markets, voting centres, among others.

FG did not however announce the specific date for resumption of the schools.

It would be recalled that the Minister of Education last week announced the FG reversal of the school resumption and suspension of this year’s WASSCE, which is scheduled for August 4 to September 5.


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