The Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education has commenced decontamination of 19,000 unity schools in preparation for their resumption. The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, while briefing newsmen in Kaduna, said the collaborating ministries had put in place a sustainable system which would protect the health of learners and their caregivers’ across all educational levels.

To this end, the FG has continued in its effort to decontaminate exam centers While re-assuring parents of the safety and well-being of their wards, the Minister urged parents to ensure their wards are properly kitted with face masks during the examination.

“Starting with the Federal Government Colleges (Unity schools) and then some of the schools that will host the Senior School Certificate Examination, numbering about 19, 000, whereas the unity schools will be subjected to thorough decontamination/disinfection in the coming days immediately after the Eid-el-Kabir break. Our personnel would be mounting surveillance in some of the examination centers. “This will include decontaminating examination halls at the end of every examination session.

As with the decontamination and disinfection previously embarked upon by the ministry, this time around, it will entail the use of friendly and globally accepted formulations-friendly to the environment and people,” he said.

The federal government yesterday confirmed that all the 104 Unity schools across the country were ready for reopening for exit classes today (Tuesday) in compliance with its earlier directive to enable final year students prepare for their examination. As part of measures to this effect, various states yesterday rolled out guidelines aimed at mitigating the spread of the CVID-19 pandemic. While all returning students are to undergo temperature checks among other protocols before being admitted into their schools, temperature tests are also expected to be carried out on students, it was gathered.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, after a meeting with Commissioners of Education of the 36 states of the Federation via the Zoom platform yesterday, lauded Principals of Unity Colleges for the comprehensive preparation put in place for resumption. The Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Ben Bem Goong, in a statement said during the meeting, the Commissioners reported varying degrees of preparation and readiness for reopening between the 4th and 10th of August, 2020 for virtually all schools within their jurisdictions. He noted that from Monday (yesterday), the Minister of State for Education, Permanent Secretary and Directors had embarked on an assessment tour of all Unity Colleges to ascertain and confirm the reports they received from the Principals of Unity Colleges.

Schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are set to resume classes for exit students but findings have revealed that most of the schools are yet to put in place safety measures. Our reporter, who visited some primary and secondary schools in the territory, observed that none of the schools have been decontaminated. In LEA Science Primary School Abaji, there was no indication that fumigation was carried out while Junior Secondary School, Kekeshi, in the area was also not fumigated. Also in Kwali Central Primary School and Government Secondary School at Oversea Quarters, there was no sign of decontamination of the schools. The chairman of the FCT wing of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Stephen Knabayi, said no school has been fumigated, saying ” as I am talking to you right now, we are still holding meeting with regards to the issue of the fumigation of schools and other NCDC guidelines for schools resumption. But according to a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the FCTA’s Education Secretariat at 7:00pm yesterday, the FCTA said it carried out the fumigation of secondary schools, as well as made available facemasks, hand sanitizers and infrared thermometers for use in the schools. The statement said the Chairman, FCT Secondary Education Board, Hon. Yahaya Musa Muhammad, briefed newsmen about the development yesterday.

In Rivers State, COVID-19 hygiene kits purchased by the state government were distributed to 257 public schools last weekend in line with the guidelines for the resumption of schools. Governor Nyesom Wike said the sanitary and hygiene kits which include hand sanitizers, gloves, face masks, detergents, running water buckets, and disinfectants were part of government’s effort to ensure that students were not infected with the coronavirus as they return to school for their exit examinations.

The governor urged the Principals to ensure the proper utilization of the kits by sanitizing their school environment and also follow the necessary COVID-19 protocols. Lagos Our reporter who monitored resumption in some schools in Lagos State observed that both public and private schools were open to final year students.

At Agidingbi Senior Grammar School along Lateef Jakande road, our reporter observed a banner welcoming the students back from COVID-19 lockdown and also asking those with fever, cough or shortness of breath not to enter the school premises. From the gate, students, teachers and visitors’ temperature were checked by the security with an infrared thermometer while they were asked to use hand sanitizers before going into the school premises. A staff of the school who spoke on ground of anonymity told our reporter that there was over 60percent turn out of students to school on the first day of resumption, saying about 70 out of the 120 SS3 students were present in school.

An SS3 students of Agidingbi senior grammar school, Eze Blessing expressed happiness over school resumption, saying, it would help her prepare better for her examination. “At the moment, I am about 70per cent prepared for the WASSCE but with the resumption, I will do better because there is power in collaboration and learning under a tutor amidst colleagues,” she said.

In Kwara however, The Kwara State government on Monday gave out 65,000 face masks for distribution across schools ahead of Wednesday’s resumption of students preparing for the secondary school certificate examinations.

A statement by the spokesperson for the state technical committee on COVID-19, Rafiu Ajakaye said the face masks are to be distributed to senior secondary class three (exit) students as part the government’s efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission in Kwara State.

While presenting the face masks to the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Bisola Ahmed for onward distribution to SS3 students, Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, Kayode Alabi said, “This is the first phase as we are also giving out sanitizers while the ministry of education, working with the committee and stakeholders in the sector, has been mandated to ensure that safety rules are adhered to.”

In Plateau State, our correspondent who went round some public and private schools observed that there were no sign of hand washing materials at the entrances of schools just as the security men had no thermometers to check people’s temperature.

It was gathered that the schools had been asked to provide all the necessary equipment by themselves, as the authorities vowed to go round the schools to ensure compliance with the measures. A teacher with Government Secondary School in Tudun Wada, Jos, who preferred anonymity said they were told that COVID-19 materials would not be immediately available due to lack of funds.


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