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S’East govs order schools to reopen

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Anxiety, joy trail resumption
PTF directs pupils with COVID-19 symptoms to stay at home

SOUTH East Governors Forum yesterday ordered all schools in the zone to reopen for exit classes today.

  Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, told journalists in Abakaliki, yesterday, that the directive was part of the resolutions of the forum’s virtual meeting held on Sunday.

  According to Umahi, the resumption would enable students in exit classes (JSS3 and SS3) to prepare for their WAEC exams.

  “Health workers shall be sent to the schools to train the teachers and students on COVID-19 NCDC protocols and to also enforce same. In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Acting Secretary for Education, Umaru Marafa, explained that only students in exit classes are expected to resume today. All schools in the FCT can re-open for exit students only, on Tuesday, 4th of August 2020 for preparation for their examinations, i.e WASSCE and BECE. Schools that have put measures based on the PTF’s guidelines and have been inspected and certified as ready for resumption by the Department of Quality Assurance of the Education Secretariat can re-open from Tuesday, August 4. “Those that have not been cleared by the Department are advised to hasten up to meet the requirement for resumption of their schools,” ” he said.

  Similarly, the choice of SS3 students is to enable them write the terminal examinations, starting with the May/June 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination Certificate (WASSCE) on August 17.

  In the South South, some states have directed reopening, those in the north are billed to repoen on August 10 while South East and South West governors have also announced date for resumption.

  Officials of the Federal Ministry of Education have begun tour of Federal Government-owned secondary schools to assess their readiness to welcome students.

  Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of State, Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, are leading the team which comprises the Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono, and other senior officials of the ministry.

  Director of Press at Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Bem Goong, in a statement released in Abuja, yesterday, announced that all the 104 Federal Government Colleges, otherwise known as Unity Schools, are ready to expected to open their gates to exit classes today.

  The statement insisted that all returning students are to undergo temperature checks among other protocols before being admitted into their schools.

  “The Minister of State for Education, Permanent Secretary and Directors will embark on an assessment tour of all Unity Colleges to ascertain and confirm the reports they have received from the Principals of Unity Colleges. Similarly, Federal Education Quality Assurance Directors deployed to the states have been directed to monitor compliance in their respective states.

  Commissioners are enjoined to embark on assessment tours in their jurisdictions to ascertain the level of preparations for reopening,” the statement reads.

  He said across states, commissioners for education have reported varying degrees of preparation and readiness for reopening between the 4th and 10th of August, for virtually all schools within their jurisdictions.

  Meanwhile, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has asked students with symptoms of COVID-19 to stay at home as resumption of the Senior Secondary School 3 begins this week nationwide.

  The PTF faulted state governments asking students to produce results of their COVID-19 tests before resumption.

  It said instead of compulsory test, which would only be valid for the period the test was conducted, students already showing symptoms of the virus should be asked to stay away.

  The task force’s national coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, said these at the PTF press briefing in Abuja.

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