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Kaduna reopens schools with “water tight” Covid-19 compliance measures

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Gov Nasir el-Rufai

Kaduna State Government has again announced the reopening of primary and secondary schools across the state with water tight Covid-19 compliance measures put in place to avoid contract and spread of the second wave of the pandemic. The news was received with jubilation.

A release, issued by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Phoebe Sukai Yayi, on behalf of the commissioner, stated that the decision was taken after series of consultations with relevant stakeholders in both state and federal health, and education sectors within and across the state.

The statement, made available to newsmen on Friday night, stated that, Monday, 1st of February, 2021, has been approved as resumption date for SS3, JSS3 and JSS1 for public and private schools.

It further stated that, (state government) “Wishes to inform the public that after extensive appraisal of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state and series of consultations with relevant stakeholders of both State and Federal Health and Education sectors within and across the State, Monday, 1st of February 2021 has been approved as resumption date for SS3, JSS3 and JSS1 for public and private schools.

“Government has also approved Primary 6, 5 and 4 of Private Schools only, to resume on the same day. All public Primary Schools remain closed until all the Covid-19 protocols have been properly put in place before they will be opened.

“In view of this, the Kaduna State Ministry of Education is directing all Principals and Head Teachers to make arrangements to receive Boarding and Day students of the above stated classes on Monday, 1st February, 2021. 

“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.

“Thus, all Administrators of public and private schools are to note that, they must comply with all COVID-19 Protocols (Temperature checks at school entrance, compulsory wearing of facemasks, regular hand washing/use of sanitizers and all COVID-19 guidelines as directed by the COVID-19 Taskforce as well as those contained in the State FORWARD Campaign). 

“Any bridge in complying with these protocols may lead to the closure of the affected school without any notice.

“Schools will be on shift to enable them meet with these guidelines, as the first shift will run from 08:00am–12:00noon, while the second shift will be from 01:00pm–05:00pm.

“The class size should not exceed 20 students per normal class, with 1.5m to 2.0m physical distancing. Schools must also have COVID-19 Committee, 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.

“The State Government is reiterating that all schools should voluntarily comply and take personal responsibility for their own health and abide by the simple preventive measures, as it is the right and safe thing to do.

“While the ministry is assuring the public of continuing the e-learning program using Google classrooms, radio and television stations and other online applications, Administrators of public and private schools are encouraged to adopt blended learning system.

“Appropriate resumption dates for the rest of the classes (SS2, SS1 and JS2 in public and private schools and Primary 3, 2, 1 and Nursery classes) will be announced in due course, subject to school’s compliance with guidelines in place.

“The Ministry appreciates the cooperation of all stakeholders in the education sector for their continued support and understanding and invites all of them to join its various monitoring teams in ensuring safe learning environment for our children. This directive also covers all Islamiya and Qur’anic Schools in the State, please.”

It is recalled that the Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, was earlier this week dragged to court over indefinite schools closure by some human rights lawyers.

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