OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s federal government has fixed October 12 as date for reopening of all schools in the country after six months of closure due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Education Minister Adamu Adamu who stated this on Friday at a briefing in Abuja, said after due consultation with the Presidential Committee on COVID-19, “We have decided that all our 104 Unity Colleges should reopen on the 12th of October, 2020.”

He noted that, “States and private school owners will work out the modalities for the opening of schools under their purview,” he said.

Government had ordered the closure of schools following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the country in March and only allowed exit classes in secondary schools to resume in August for their terminal examination.

The minister explained that the painful but necessary decision of not reopening schools all these while was to ensure that the curve of infection rate is flattened and that it is safe to reopen schools.

“Having taken that painful but necessary decision, government has not rested on its oars in the areas of consultation with stakeholders, putting together guidelines for reopening of schools and preparations required of school owners to reopen,” he said.

He said with the level of preparations put to test and the flattening of the infection curve, “We have come to the conclusion that we have to review our earlier decision especially against the realization that COVID-19 has come to stay and that we have to live with it.”

“I am glad to report that in all our 104 Unity Colleges, there has not been a single case of COVID-19 infection so far. The isolated cases we have had in other schools are minimal. It is gratifying to note that on the whole, there has not being a single fatality amongst the exiting students,” he said.