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COVID-19: Nigeria releases guidelines for safe re-opening of schools

The federal government of Nigeria has issued guidelines for the safe reopening of schools and learning facilities after closures due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria’s Ministry of Education published a document conveying the guidelines on Monday.

The 52-paged document made available to Okay.ng was 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.

Speaking about the guidelines, Adamu Adamu said: “Now is the time to plan and address the eventual safe reopening of schools and learning facilities. It will be recalled that at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, schools and all learning facilities were closed in order to safeguard the health and general wellbeing of our children, youths, teachers, and educational personnel.

“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”.

According to him, the Guidelines for Schools and Learning Facilities Reopening after COVID-19 Pandemic Closures outlines key strategies for implementing safe and efficient and equitable plans for school reopening and operations.

Adamu further noted that the document focuses on attendance, social distancing, hygiene, cleaning, and non-pharmaceutical interventions for safe and healthy school activities and programs.

The minister noted that given that COVID-19 may be with us for a while, the guidelines also highlight the urgent need to maintain and improve upon distance-learning programs, adding that the government’s aim is to identify and strengthen programs that will guarantee the recovery of learning gaps resulting from the pandemic.

Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba on his part stated that the guidelines for schools and learning facilities reopening after COVID-19 pandemic closures is a strategy document developed to provide the necessary support to stakeholders for the safe reopening of schools and resumption of academic activities.

Nwajiuba said the development of the guidelines involved a series of meetings, consultations, and deliberations with relevant groups, associations, and stakeholders on key areas of concern as the government plans to reopen schools and the best response strategies.

He noted that efforts were made to ensure that all inputs and suggestions from our development partners, donors, civil society organizations, and professional bodies are adequately reflected to address critical issues of health, safety, and quality education provision as schools get ready to reopen.

Get the document here.

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