Nigeria: Govt announces reopening of schools amid pandemic


The Nigerian Government on Monday announced that secondary schools will reopen for students in exit classes from Tuesday, August 4.

“Students will have two weeks within which to prepare for the West African Examination (WAEC) due to start on the 17th of August 2020,” spokesman to the education ministry Ben Ben Goog said in a statement.

The reopening of the schools, Goog said, was the unanimous decision reached today at a virtual consultative meeting between the Federal Ministry of Education, Honourable Commissioners of Education of the 36 states, the Nigerian Union of Teachers, (NUT), the proprietors of private schools, and Chief Executives of examination bodies.

“It was agreed that the exit classes should resume immediately after the Sallah break, from the 4th of August, 2020 to enable them prepare for the WAEC examinations scheduled to commence from the 17‘h of August, 2020,” Goog said.

The meeting, Goog said, also resolved that a passionate appeal be made to the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and public-spirited Nigerians for assistance to schools across the country to enable them fast track the preparations for safe reopening, as agreed.

Another meeting is to be convened tomorrow between the Federal Ministry of Education and Chief Executives of examination bodies namely, NECO, NABTEB and NBAIS to harmonise their examination dates, which will be conveyed to stakeholders expeditiously by the Federal Ministry of Education.

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All schools including tertiary institutions have been shut in the country since the outbreak of coronavirus.

After two months, the government said schools will be reopened for students in exit classes – JSS 3 and SSS 3 to write their school-leaving exams. The government, however, rescinded its decision due to the health safety of the students.

Minister for state education Emeka Nwajiuba in May had issued guidelines for all schools in the country in preparatory for their reopening.

Nwajiuba said all schools must ensure compliance to social distancing, provision and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and the compulsory use of task masks to curb the spread of coronavirus.