Several Nigerian learners have been greatly affected by the shutdown of schools caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions have also had to pause learning due to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
As a result of this delay and pause in academic activities, several learners across the country are eager to resume and are seeking information and updates concerning school resumption in Nigeria.
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If you are one of those students that are seeking school resumption updates, below is a brief breakdown of the updates that you need to know about.
With several news outlets circulating the air concerning school resumption in Nigeria, it might be confusing to know the exact date of resumption. Below is the timeline concerning the announcement and clarification concerning the school resumption date in Nigeria.
Earlier on, schools had been shut down due to the raging second wave of the coronavirus. The specified date of January 18 was then given for schools to resume.
On Monday, the 11th of January, 2021, the Minister of Education; Adamu Adamu during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force(PTF) said that the earlier given date was not sacrosanct.
He stated that the date was given based on the realities of that time. According to him, schools reopening on January 18 was a subject that was under review.
Nevertheless, on the 14th of January, after a stakeholders meeting, the Federal Ministry of Education decided to go ahead with the earlier given date. In a press release given by Mr Ben Goong, the spokesperson of the ministry of education clarified the resumption date.
In the press release he said that after several meetings and consultations with stakeholders such as the governors, commissioners of education, proprietors, head of academic institutions, staff unions and students, it was agreed that schools should go ahead with the given date.
However, Mr Goong also said that school resumption must be done under strict covid-19 protocols. Schools and institutions of learning must provide soap, washing hand basins at specified locations around the school, an alcohol-based sanitiser, and thermometers to conduct temperature checks on people entering the school premises.
He also said that everyone on school grounds must abide by the covid 19 guidelines. This includes washing hands, wearing face masks and maintaining social distance.
In one sentence, the approved date given by the Minister of Education for school resumption in Nigeria is 18th of January, 2020.
Despite the directive given by the Federal Ministry of Education, state governors also possess discretion to further extend or postpone the school resumption date in their respective states.
They can do this based on the number of infections and cases of Covid-19 in their states. Several states have given academic institutions in their states, the go-ahead to resume on the 18th of January. This is in line with the date and safety protocols given by the Ministry of Education.
In Lagos, Mr Kayode Abayomo who is the head of public affairs, ministry of education said in a press statement that the Lagos State government has approved January 18th for school resumption in the state.
In Enugu state, the commissioner for Education; Prof. Uche Eze also confirmed 18th of January as the school resumption date for academic institutions within the state.
Some other states that have approved the January 18th school resumption date are Ebonyi state, Delta state, Ogun state, Osun state, Benue state, Anambra state, Kogi, Plateau and Cross River states.
Nonetheless, several states have given different dates for resumption. In Katsina state, January 25th has been fixed as the school resumption date. The government also released guidelines and conditions that must be followed to ensure safe school reopening in the state.
Alhaji Abubakar Sani; the executive Governor of Niger state fixed January 24th as the school resumption date. The governor instructed that all academic institutions within the state must follow all Covid19 protocols provided by the Federal Ministry of Education.
In Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki specified that schools in the state would be allowed to resume on the 1st of February. However, the governor also added that the given date was subject to review. The date could be further shifted if there is a spike in covid 19 infections within the state.
On the 18th of January, the Federal Ministry of Education in a statement given by Mr Ben Goong has said that Covid19 test is not a requirement for students to resume.
What this simply means is that returning students do not have to take a Covid19 test before being admitted into their schools. The spokesperson of the ministry further said that rather than requesting a Covid19 test, temperature checks should be carried out.
He said schools should conduct temperature checks on individuals before allowing them into the school premises. He gave a strict warning to heads of academic instructions across the country to refrain from asking students and parents to provide a covid-19 test result upon resumption.
As a Nigerian Student, it can be tough having to keep up with all the school resumption updates in Nigeria. You are eager for school to resume and eager to hear positive news concerning school resumption.
The basic and essential updates to keep in mind are: The Federal government has given the go-ahead for schools to resume on the 18th of January. Several states have also allowed schools in their states to resume at this date.
However others have pushed the school resumption date further to allow academic institutions to make adequate preparations. Another update from the Federal Ministry of Education is that you do not need to take a Covid19 test before resumption.