Public primary school pupils in Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria will have to remain at home for a while due to the lack of a safe learning environment following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, students in Junior Secondary School 3 and Junior Secondary School 1 of public and private schools, as well as pupils of primary 6, 5 and 4 of private schools, are to resume school on Monday, Feb.1.
Public and private schools in the state were shut indefinitely due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They were expected to reopen for academic activities on Monday, Jan.15 before the State Government announced that it was not safe to allow students back in school.
Shehu Usman Muhammad, the state Commissioner for Education had disclosed on Tuesday, Jan. 12 that the government was still assessing the COVID-19 pandemic with keen interest and would announce the opening of schools only when it deemed it safe for students and teachers.
“The State Government will review the state of Covid-19 cases before fixing a date for resumption,” Muhammad said as he announced the suspension of school resumption till further notice.
However, Phoebe Sukai Yayi, Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Education, announced in a statement that these decisions were reached after an “extensive” appraisal of the second wave of the pandemic and consultations with stakeholders in the federal and state healthcare and education sectors.
To secure the public primary pupils against the disease, Yayi said: “All public primary schools remain closed until all the COVID-19 protocols have been properly put in place before they will be opened.”
The permanent secretary conveyed the ministry’s directive to all principals and headteachers to make arrangements to receive boarding and day students of the resuming classes on Monday, Feb 1.
“However, the State Covid-19 Task Force will continue to monitor all schools to ensure safe learning environments against the pandemic in addition to strict adherence to the guidelines issued by the State Government,” she warned.
Yayi announced COVID-19 safety measures for compliance by the resuming schools.
“Schools will be on shift to enable them to meet with these guidelines”, she said, explaining that, “the first shift will run from 08:00 am – 12:00noon while the second shift will be from 01:00 pm – 05:00 pm.”
The permanent secretary explained further that the class size should not exceed 20 students per normal class with 1.5m to 2.0m physical distancing.
She noted that there must be a COVID-19 Committee in each of the schools, which will comprise of the SBMC, PTA, community representative, health personnel, students and teachers representatives, to monitor and ensure compliance.
“Parents are also advised to provide their children/wards with facemasks and other sanitary items to help in curtailing the spread of the virus,” Yayi said.
She said appropriate resumption dates for the rest of the classes SS2, SS1 and JS2 in public and private schools would be announced in due course, subject to the schools’ compliance with guidelines in place.