Despite oppositions from various quarters, the federal government has decided to move forward with the resumption date of January 18 for schools in the country.
Institutions had opposed the idea of a reopening amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.
However, after the government, represented by the education ministry, and other relevant stakeholders in the field of education met to discuss, the decision was reached.
Earlier in the week, the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu had said that the date was not set in stone and that it was still subject to revision.
There had been doubts about the decision to reopen schools over inadequate facilities to ensure that students were safe while they reentered classrooms.
But in a telephone interview with PUNCH, Adamu stated that after consultations with “senior officials in the ministry” and with other stakeholders, the decision was made.
He said, “You will recall that at the Monday briefing of the PTF, I mentioned that the task force directed our ministry to review the January 18 planned resumption date and come back with a decision on whether to retain it or further extend the school closure.
“Based on that directive, senior officials in the ministry met on the matter. We took a decision on the matter.
“Apart from that, we decided to also consult with other stakeholders, like state commissioners for education. We have also done that.
“The outcome of our consultation is that majority of the stakeholders want the January 18 resumption date to remain.
“So, it is now our collective decision that the resumption should remain January 18. We intend to make the formal announcement either today (Thursday) or tomorrow (Friday).”
In a press release signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations of the education ministry, Ben Bem Goong, a list of protocols were given to schools and parents in line with the government’s COVID-19 guidelines regarding the reopening of schools.
The mandatory wearing of face masks by teachers and students, provision of constant water supply, temperature checks, among others were listed, and it stated that the protocols will be subject to “constant review”.