The Federal Government on Thursday, October 8 released fresh guidelines for the reopening of schools in the country.
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, made this known during a briefing in Abuja.
Schools in the country had been shut for more than four months as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
But the PTF had okayed the reopening of schools in August with some subnational already reopening primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in their states.
Pointloaded had earlier reported that FG ordered all Unity Schools in the country to resume with effect from October 12.
Giving an update on Thursday, Aliyu said, “The Federal Ministry of Education, the PTF and the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) have developed guidelines to ensure schools can reopen, minimise the risk of transmission and continue to operate safely.
“Boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and putting positive students aside.
“There must be access to running water and hand washing facilities.
“The health staff, particularly in boarding schools, must be trained and provided with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
“There must be appropriate waste management systems.
“Health facilities that are within the schools that serve the schools should have the ability to cater for an outbreak and a response protocol must be in place for these schools for students who test positive. In this regard, it is important to involve their parents and make sure that parents have signed consent forms in advance.
“Schools should also work in synergy with the local government rapid response teams and collaborate with the state ministries of health on planning, implementation and reopening of schools.
“We encourage schools to consider creative solutions to abide by these guidelines.”
On his part, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, stressed that states have the responsibility to ensure the safe reopening of schools.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said, “The Federal Government has just 105 schools all over the nation that are reopening. Over 18,000 schools do not belong to the Federal Government; they belong to states and private proprietors.
“The control of schools in the state, particularly primary and secondary schools, is the responsibility of the state government. They are supposed to ensure compliance.
“Different states fixed different dates for the reopening of schools. So, the responsibility of ensuring that these schools comply with the guidelines is vested on state and local government authorities and that we expect they will do.”