The Federal Government has released guidelines for the safe reopening of schools after COVID-19 pandemic closures.
This was disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Education on its official website on Monday, as it published the guidelines and outlined actions, measures, and requirements needed for the safe reopening of schools after the pandemic is contained.
The 52-paged communique, which 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.
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.
Mr 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
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned global leaders that Covid-19 will not disappear in the coming months, and it’s unrealistic to expect that a perfect vaccine will become available to everyone immediately.
This was disclosed by Head, Emergencies programme, WHO, Mike Ryan, at a briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.
Ryan is optimistic that things won’t return to normal “for the foreseeable future,” as confirmed cases worldwide exceeded 13 million.
He explained that it would be unrealistic to expect that a perfect vaccine will become available to everyone immediately, and it’s not realistic to expect Covid-19 to disappear in the coming months.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 13, 2020
WHO’s stand on when schools can open
Ryan said, “The best way to reopen schools is to do so once countries succeed in combating the spread of the disease.”
Technical Lead Officer, WHO, Maria Van Kerkhove, said, “Not enough is known about the role of children in transmission, though several recent studies suggest that children over 10 are more susceptible to infection than those under 10.”
She added that WHO has sent two scientists as an advance mission to China to work remotely with local researchers as local rules require them to stay in quarantine.
They are learning how animals transmitted the disease will help in fighting it.