The Federal Government has stated that it is against the reopening of schools after their closure due to the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This was made known by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, on Thursday at a meeting of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 with the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee (NTLC) on National Primary Health.
Naija News reports that the meeting was presided over by the Minister of Information and Culture on behalf of the Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
The meeting was to seek the support of the traditional rulers towards preventing community spread of COVID-19.
Responding to a question from Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa’ad Abubakar, on school reopening, Nwajiuba said it has not come to a point where it is convinced that schools should be re-opened for academic exercise.
He said: “At the moment, we have not come to the point where we can say we are convinced that schools can manage themselves and reopen comfortably.
“Our teams have gone out and we will use the whole of this week and next week to do a proper evaluation.
“We are going round to see the level of compliance but most importantly we are waiting to get an update on all the facilities in every part of Nigeria. So, it is a work in progress.”.
He stated that the federal government believe the opinion of experts that the school system is a suspect place for transmission.
“We are suggesting that classes be remodelled if there are no enough classrooms for social distancing,” Nwajiuba said.
“We can do tier system, some can come in the morning, maybe the junior classes and the senior classes can come in the afternoon.
“We are also working out guidelines such as washing of hands because school must go on at one point.”