COVID-19: FG rolls out guidelines on schools’ reopening, resumption date still tentative

COVID-19: FG rolls out guidelines on schools’ reopening, resumption date still tentative

The Federal Government on Monday, July 13, issued guidelines ahead of the planned resumption of schools at every level in the country but failed to disclose the dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes outlined actions, measures, and requirements needed for the safe reopening of schools after the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the itemised guidelines publicised by the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja on Monday; every educational institution is required to ensure that learners are two meters apart.

The guidelines which was signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and Minister of State (Education), Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba was developed in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Health, and health safety experts in the country.

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It reads, “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 COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies. The membership of these groups should not change unless the NCDC public health guideline suggests otherwise.”

Furthermore, the FG stated that it would conduct a rapid assessment and determine the funding requirements for upgrading infrastructure and facilities to meet and sustain prescribed safe school reopening requirements.

1st News had reported that schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move was in order to safeguard the health and general well-being of children, youths, teachers, and educational personnel.

The guidelines included a review of existing policies, practices, and risk mitigation strategies in use of schools for other purposes; such as distance learning centres, temporary shelters, isolation, quarantine and treatment centres, markets, voting centres, among others.

“As a responsible government; it is also our duty to provide comprehensive guidelines for a safe and hitch-free reopening of schools and learning facilities. We do so knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities,” it stressed.

Adamu explained that the need to develop the guidelines became imperative; “given that COVID-19 may be with us for a while.”

“The guidelines were drafted in close coordination with health, environmental, education, and school safety experts; who were tasked with the responsibility of charting a pathway /for safely reopening our schools and learning facilities for quality teaching and learning.”

Adamu expressed gratitude to the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, FMoH; Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Education in Emergencies Working Group in Nigeria; for their support and contribution in the development of the guidelines.

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