Why we postponed basic, secondary schools resumption to Monday Jan 25 ­— Niger Commissioner

THE Niger State government has declared that all basic and secondary schools in the state will resume on Monday, January 25, 2021 for the first term academic activities, contrary to the earlier given January 4 date.

Commissioner for Education, Hajiya Hannatu Jibrin Salihu stated this during an interactive session with newsmen in Minna, the state capital.

The commissioner said the adjustment in the resumption date for academic activities in the state was due to the COVID-19 pandemic being monitored by government at the national and local levels, and to guarantee the safety of  school managers, teachers and learners.

Her words: “With the report of the sad wave of COVID-19 and the spike of the global pandemic, the ministry felt obliged to approach the challenges of the pandemic with caution.

“Thus we stayed action on the resumption of schools as initially scheduled to watch the situation and align with the direction expected to be provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and other relevant health authorities.”

Hajiya Jibrin Salihu further noted that while the state government was in tune with Monday, January 18  for resumption of schools across the country, the state government chose to be on the safe side.

She added that after consultation with different stakeholders across the state, it was agreed that all students in basic and secondary boarding schools are to resume for classes on Sunday, January 24, while students in day schools would resume for classes on Monday, January 25.

According to her, the one week interval was to enable all schools to put necessary protective measures in place, adding that parents, students and pupils are expected to comply with COVID-19 protocols in full.

She said that “on resumption, principals, teachers and students must ensure full compliance with the following standard COVID-19 protocols which include maintaining physical distancing by avoiding overcrowded classes and areas, no assemblies, visiting days or large gatherings of any kind.”

The commissioner also stressed the need for proper wearing of face masks at all times within and outside the schools, and periodically within the schools by parents, students, pupils and others.

She also emphasised adherence to sanitisation protocols, particularly constant washing and, or sanitising of hands by all those entering schools, and periodically within the schools.

Other safety measures against the pandemic, according to her, include carrying out temperature checks for all those entering schools periodically within the schools as well as activating and deploying in full all COVID-19 protocols put in place during the first wave of the pandemic such as drop and pick-up points and provisions of holding rooms on resumption.

Accordingly, she said, “The ministry has instituted the mechanism for strict and cautious monitoring of compliances with COVID-19 protocols,” adding that all stakeholders such as principals, head teachers, teachers and workers should ensure full compliance.

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