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Coronavirus: FG gives fresh updates on schools resumptions

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THE Federal Government has given fresh updates on reopening of schools across the country.

  The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemaka Nwajiuba, while reacting to questions at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 yesterday disclosed that Nigeria is not yet safe for reopening of schools.

  According to the minister, FG was concerned about curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

  Following the increasing cases of coronavirus in the country, the federal government has warned the state governments against the reopening of schools because of pressure from the children and parents.

   The Minister stated that federal government and the Ministry of Education did not give Oyo State any guidance to reopen schools.

  Nwajiuba said he was particularly concerned about the spike in the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oyo State, emphasising that it was Ogun State which had been under lockdown that was actually the concern of the government.

“The ministry of education did not give guidance to Oyo state to reopen schools. We also think that is a little bit of contradictory because if you look next to them is Ogun State that actually had a lockdown. Lagos governor reveals when schools will likely resume “So, there is no reason why there should be more numbers in Oyo State than there are in Ogun State, where we thought we had the problem.”

  It would be recalled that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, during daily presidential briefing of COVID-19 announced  only the final year students preparing for the West African Examination Council (WAEC)’s Senior Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE), National Examination Council (NECO) and National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) examinations would be allowed to resume for revisions.  

  He appealed to parents and other stakeholders to continue to bear with the government while the situation is being monitored so as to guarantee the safety of children when schools are eventually reopened. 

Continuing, the minister expressed concerns on situation in Oyo State, saying that something is not okay in that respect.

 “Oyo state like all other sub-nationals have governors and under our constitution, governors are responsible for their states. “You may have heard from our interactions with you that out of 774 local governments in Nigeria, there are actually few LGs with a lot of this burden. Therefore, it is very easy to get perception from the edges of the country that some things are not happening, because it is not happening within your immediate locality.”  

Nwajiuba emphasized that the primary purpose of government is the security of its citizens, stressing that public health was key and primary in the security delivery.

 He said this was why the government has been extremely conscious of making any pronouncement around the reopening of schools.

  The minister noted that Nigeria has not even gotten into optimal testing and could not even forecast the hazard the pandemic is most positioned at.

  He added that the least government could do was to keep the children deliberately away from school without strong reasons, while noting that at the appropriate time, government would get them back to school.

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