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Federal Government Releases guidelines for schools resumption


The Nigerian Government has issued guidelines prior to the planned resumption of schools within the country.

The guidelines, which did not disclose the date of school resumption, was signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of State (Education), Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba. it had been developed together with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Health and health safety experts within the country.

The guidelines outlined actions, measures and requirements needed for the safe reopening of schools after the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidelines released today, July 13, requires that students should be aided to observe social distancing and stay at least 2 meters apart.

The guidelines dealt extensively on plans for school reopening and operations, including attendance, social distancing, hygiene, cleaning, and non-pharmaceutical interventions for safe and healthy school activities and programmes.

Mallam Adamu explained that the necessity to develop the rules became imperative, “given that COVID – 19 could also be with us for a short while.

On social distancing in shools, the document reads, “However, there are exceptions where the two-meter rule can't be reasonably applied and other risk mitigation strategies could also be adopted. Examples include early years, younger grade school children, and those with additional needs.

“In these circumstances, risk assessments must be undertaken with the simplest 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 risk mitigation strategies. The membership of those groups shouldn't change unless the NCDC public health guideline suggests otherwise.”

With the release of the rules , the govt would conduct a rapid assessment and determine funding requirement for upgrading infrastructure and facilities like classrooms, furniture, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene-WASH and ICT facilities to satisfy and sustain prescribed safe school reopening requirements.

Notable among the things within the guidelines are recommendations for the review of existing policies, practices, and risk mitigation strategies in the use of schools for other purposes, like distance learning centres, temporary shelters, isolation, quarantine and treatment centres, markets, voting centres, among others.

The document adds: “COVID – 19 pandemic poses a huge risk to the health and safety of learners, teachers, parents, school administrators, education practitioners, and therefore the wider community…More than 1.5 billion children and children globally are suffering from school and university closures.

“As a responsible government, it's also our duty to supply comprehensive guidelines for a secure and hitch-free reopening of faculties and learning facilities. We do so knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities.”

Adamu said the rules also highlight the urgent got to maintain and improve upon distance-learning programmes.
Adamu said: "Our aim is to spot and strengthen programmes which will guarantee the recovery of learning gaps resulting from the pandemic.

"The guidelines were drafted in close coordination with health, environmental, education, and faculty safety experts who were tasked with the responsibility of charting a pathway for safely reopening our schools and learning facilities for quality teaching and learning.”

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