A one week grace has been given to schools to set up safety measures to protect students and teachers.
Oyo governor, Seyi Makinde, has rescheduled the date of resumption for school students in the state.
Schools all over Nigeria have been shut down since March in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the Federal Government has insisted this will remain the case until they can be safely reopened, like other sectors of the country over the past weeks.
However, the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Governor Makinde, announced last week that critical classes for Primary Six, JSS 3 and SS 3 students would resume on June 29, 2020.
The task force has now asked students to resume one week later on July 6, according to an official statement signed by the governor’s spokesperson, Taiwo Adisa, on Tuesday, June 23.
After reviewing the state’s preparedness during a meeting on Tuesday, the task force determined that schools need one week to test-run the facilities, and implement measures to ensure safety of students and staff.
“By the new arrangement, Teachers are to resume to the schools on Monday June 29, 2020, while students in critical classes including Primary 6, JSS3 and SS3 will resume a week later on July 6, 2020,” the statement read.
The statement reiterated the government’s directive that each student is expected to wear a face mask, while schools are to also prepare well laid out hand washing spots to guarantee regular washing of hands by the students and teachers.
Adisa noted that at least 372 Heads of Schools have been trained on the management of the COVID-19 containment procedures.
Schools set to reopen have also been directed to appoint an Incident Manager who will ensure compliance with the approved COVID-19 protocol.
The task force will also decide by July 15 if remaining classes would be able to resume, or wait to commence a new session in September.
Oyo has recorded 988 coronavirus cases, with 291 recovered patients, and nine dead.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has frowned upon the state’s decision to reopen schools on many occasions.
During a media briefing on Monday, June 22, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, described the decision as “insensitive”.
“The Ministry of Education did not give any guideline to Oyo state to reopen schools. We also think that that is a little bit contradictory,” he said.
The minister appealed to parents to remain patient on the reopening of schools so that children are not recklessly exposed to the highly infectious disease.
20,919 coronavirus cases have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as of June 22.
While 7,109 people have recovered, 525 people have died.
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