The Federal Government Of Nigeria-FGN- has released new guidelines today ahead of the planned schools reopening at all levels in the country, but failed to give date due to the pandemic.These include outlined actions, measures, and requirements necessary for the safe reopening of schools after the COVID-19 pandemic.According to the itemised guidelines issued by the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja on Monday, every educational institution is required to ensure that learners are two meters apart.The guidelines which was signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and Minister of State (Education), Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba was worked out in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Health, and health safety experts in the country.
It reads, “However, there are exceptions; where the two-meter rule cannot be reasonably applied and other risk mitigation strategies may be adopted. Examples include early years, younger primary school children, and those with additional needs.In these circumstances, risk assessments must be undertaken with the best interests of the learners, teachers, and other education personnel in mind.”The scenarios require organizing learners and children into small groups with consistent membership and compliance with the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies. The membership of these groups should not change; unless the NCDC public health guideline suggests otherwise.”Furthermore, the FGN said that it would conduct a rapid assessment to determine the funding requirements for upgrading infrastructure and facilities to meet and sustain prescribed safe school reopening requirements.Recall that schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,in order to safeguard the health and general wellbeing of children, youths, teachers, and educational personnel.
“As a responsible government; it is also our duty to provide comprehensive guidelines for a safe and hitch-free reopening of schools and learning facilities. We do this knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities”, it stated.
Adamu explained that the need to develop the guidelines became imperative, “given that COVID-19 may be with us for a while.”The guidelines were drafted in close collaboration with health, environmental, education, and school safety experts who were charged with the responsibility of charting a pathway; for safely reopening our schools and learning facilities for quality teaching and learning.”Adamu expressed gratitude to the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, FMoH, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Education in Emergencies Working Group in Nigeria for their support and contribution in the making of the guidelines.