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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

We won’t follow Lagos planned reopening of schools ~ Ogun, 6 others

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Some states in Nigeria have said that they are not ready to allow students in their states to return back to schools yet in spite of the announcement by the Lagos State government to reopen schools as from September 14.
The states are Ogun, Katsina, Bauchi, Enugu, Sokoto, Gombe and Ekiti, according to a Punch report which stated that they are not ready yet to reopen school until the federal government direct them to do so.

The Ogun State Government said it was not in a hurry to reopen tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools.

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The government said it would avoid taking an uninformed decision to reopen schools because Lagos State had made the announcement to reopen schools.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Public Communications, Remmy Hazzan said the state government shut the schools based on the Federal Government’s order and would reverse the order based on the same method. “We will look at the various database and use empirical data available.”

Schools in the country had been closed since March 2020 due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Recently, Senior Secondary School 3 students were called back on August 4 to write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, which started on August 17.

Lagos State, however, had taken the step forward and said its working towards schools resumption in September.

“The indicator that will determine when we are going to open depends majorly on the Federal Government`s readiness to reverse the order so that we will not be seen as a state that is anti-Federal Government.

“That is on one side. The second one is that even at that we will still rely on empirical data that science provides to guarantee the safety of our children when they return to school. So the fact that Lagos has done it is not an indicator that we have to be in a hurry to do it.”

Also, the Ekiti State government said it will not follow the announced Lagos State timetable for the reopening of schools in September.
According to the Coordinator of the Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Task Force, Bolaji Aluko, the state government would observe happenings in the secondary schools.

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“We won’t follow any person’s timetable. We want to see events after the WASSCE and the JSSCE, whether students got sick, whether teachers got sick. So far, we have not seen any breakdown of students or teachers falling ill. We are still studying them. If there is no outbreak of illness, then we may start the schools.

“But for now, we have not decided. We have not known the basis for the directive in Lagos State. But there is the possibility that our tertiary institutions resume this year. I think secondary schools also, before the end of the year. I have asked around, we have not seen any hot spot of COVID-19 as far as the ongoing examinations are concerned.”

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