COVID-19: See FG New Guidelines For Schools Resumption [DETAILS]
President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has released guidelines ahead of the resumption of schools at every level in the country.
The Federal Government, however, did not disclose the date for school resumption in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government listed actions, measures and requirements as guidelines needed for the safe reopening of after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja on Monday noted that to obey the safe distancing measures in schools and other learning facilities, students must be directed to stay two meters apart.
The guidelines which were signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of State (Education), Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba was developed in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Health and health safety experts in the country.
The document 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 risk mitigation strategies. The membership of these groups should not change unless the NCDC public health guideline suggests otherwise.”
Following the guidelines released by the Federal Government, the government would conduct a rapid assessment and determine funding requirement for upgrading infrastructure and facilities (such as classrooms, furniture, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene-WASH and ICT facilities) to meet and sustain prescribed safe school reopening requirements.
The Federal Government noted that it was time for it to plan and address the safe reopening of schools after months of been locked.
The guidelines included a review of existing policies, practices, and risk mitigation strategies in the use of schools for other purposes, such as distance learn-ing centres, temporary shelters, isolation, quarantine and treatment centres, markets, voting centres, among others.
“COVID – 19 pandemic poses an enormous risk to the health and safety of learners, teachers, parents, school administrators, education practitioners, and the wider community…More than 1.5 billion children and young people globally have been affected by school and university closures.
“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 so knowing that the health, safety, and security of learners, teachers, education personnel, and families are priorities”, it stressed.
The guidelines dealt extensively on equitable plans for school reopening and operations, focusing on attendance, social distancing, hygiene, cleaning, and non-pharmaceutical interventions for safe and healthy school activities and programmes.
Adamu explained that the need to develop the guidelines became imperative, “given that COVID – 19 may be with us for a while.”
He said the guidelines also highlight the urgent need to maintain and improve upon distance-learning programs.
The Minister said, “Our aim is to identify and strengthen programmes that will guarantee the recovery of learning gaps resulting from the pandemic.
“The guidelines were drafted in close coordination with health, environmental, education, and school 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.”