Written by Godfrey AKON

Covid-19: FG dismisses rumours of reopening schools in November

Online reports purporting a Federal Government directive to reopen schools in November has been dismissed by the country’s educational authorities as fake.

Nigeria’s Ministry of Education, in a statement, disowned the report on resumption of schools, describing it as the handiwork of an illiterate, who by the content of his report appears to be mentally ill.

The ministry called on parents, students and the general public to disregard the information in its entirety, adding that there was no iota of truth about it.

According to the ministry, efforts was being made to track the author, warning that if found to be mentally stable, he will be prosecuted. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has announced the indefinite postponement of the May/June 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, and the June/July Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE, conducted by the West African Examination Council, WAEC, and the National Examinations Council, NECO, respectively.

Minister of State for Education, Dr Emeka Nwajiuba, who made the announcement in Abuja at the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, said the postponement followed the growing cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Nwajiuba also stated that schools across the country will remain closed until the current lockdown is relaxed for efforts to be coordinated towards reopening them.

WAEC and NECO were earlier slated to be held between April and July 2020 before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which forced a nationwide lockdown.

“We have announced that WAEC and NECO for the year have been postponed. This postponement is indefinite at the moment.

"We will also be looking at what we will do for schools to reopen. As you recall, we asked that schools be vacated in the last part of March 2020 as soon as this pandemic broke out.

“The lockdown in various parts of the country will definitely affect whether students and teachers come to school or not. So nobody can reopen schools until we have coordinated all efforts. We are also asking parents to help us," he said.

Nwajiuba further announced that electronic learning had commenced in 15 states for pupils on local television and radio channels following the stay-at-home order, while appealing to parents to cooperate with the government to ensure that their children were made available to learn at the designated hours and channels.

“We have made provisions available online. The Directorate of Information and Communication Technology in conjunction with the Universal Basic Education Commission, the coordinating agency, will anchor an alliance with State Universal Basic Education Boards in all the states so that they can key into our design.

“About 15 states have already commenced learning via different channels that are available in their states, mostly local TV and radio. All the programmes they are running are approved by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Commission. Some of those states are Anambra, Lagos, Kaduna, Ondo, Edo, and Ogun. There are different education programmes for different times," he said.



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