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NUT Backs NMA, Demands For Extension On School’s Resumption Date

From Ganiyu Nasirudeen

The new resumption date as announced last week by the Federal Government for the nation’s public and private schools has continued to generate controversy and protest, latest which is the strike threat by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), should September 22, remains.

NUT demand aligns with the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) advice on Tuesday that government should await the completion of all the existing confirmed and suspected Ebola cases in different parts of the country, before fixing resumption date.

The teachers’ union has consequently threatened it would not not allow any of its members to teach until it was “scientifically and medically” proven that the country was completely  free of the deadly Virus which has claimed seven lives in Nigeria.

In a swift reaction, Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu maimtained that the date as announced last week stands, saying there was no scientific basis for schools to remain shut beyond the September 22.

Onyebuchi Chukwu said this in Abuja Wednesday, while responding to questions from State House journalists on the raging resumption debate. Chukwu insisted that with experts’ information, the government’s decision on the issue would not be reversed.

“There is no scientific basis for school resumption to be postponed. There is no community transmission of the disease in Nigeria. That is what separates Nigeria from other countries. It is what I call irrational fear; we don’t need to be irrational about this”, Health Minister maintained.

He however urged those calling for extension to leave the issue to necessary authorities in the country, saying it was not an ordinary issue, therefore should not be taken to the common man level.

It would be recalled the House Committee on Education also stated late Tuesday that it was not comfortable with the government date, therefore would meet with its counterpart committee on Health over the issue for an extensive review.

Nigerian Education Minister, Mallam Ibrahim Shekrau shocked the the nation last Friday, when he announced government’s backslide, confirming the October 13 as earlier announced has been changed to September 22, 2014.



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