COVID-19:FG Releases Fresh Guidelines For Schools,Insists On Jan.18 Re-opening - EDU-BIZNEWS


Friday, January 15, 2021

COVID-19:FG Releases Fresh Guidelines For Schools,Insists On Jan.18 Re-opening

The Federal Government has released fresh guidelines for schools to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, insisting on the January 18 resumption date for academic activities, admidst  increasing cases in the second wave of the virus in Nigeria.  

In the updated guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Education , the usual daily assembly of pupils before classes and visiting days by parents , are now suspended .

Minister Of Education,Mallam Adamu Adamu in a statement by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Ben Bem Goong, announced the fresh guidelines  on Thursday  in Abuja, titled, ‘School resumption date of January 18, 2021 stands – Minister’,.

The ministry in the statement explained that the decision to reopen schools and review the COVID-19 protocols was sequel to a comprehensive appraisal of the situation.

 The statement reads in part, “After extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, including State Governors, Commissioners of Education, Proprietors and heads of institutions, staff unions, and students, the consensus of opinion is that the resumption date of 18th January should remain, while parents and respective institutions must ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols including – the compulsory wearing of Facemasks by all students, teachers, and workers in all schools"

Other protocols that should be  strictly adhered to by schools are as follows,“Temperature checks and handwashing facilities at strategic locations in all schools.

“Ensuring a constant supply of water and sanitisers.

“Enforcement of maintenance of social distancing and suspension of large gatherings such as assembly and visiting days".

“Avoiding overcrowding, including limitations in class sizes and hostel occupancy".

“Availability of functional health clinics with facilities for isolation and transportation of suspected cases to medical facilities".

The presidency urged schools to ensure compliance with all other  non-pharmaceutical protocols, as well as restrictions and containment measures approved by the the Presidential Task Force PTF, from time to time .

The new measures according to the statement, are aimed at ensuring safe re-opening of schools for academic activities which are subjected to constant review by the Ministry of Education, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC), to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.

“These measures which are to ensure safe reopening of schools for academic activities will be subject to constant review as we urge teachers, school administrators, and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance.”

Some of the new guidelines made it compulsory for schools reopening to have detailed communication protocols which includes parents, school health team, school authorities as well as state and local  officials and those schools must also have a system to provide regular update on guidelines by NCDC on how to mitigate the spread of the virus 

“Schools and educational bodies that plan to reopen must have detailed communication protocols that include parents, school health teams, school authorities and local (and) state officials".

“They must also have a system for providing regular updates for parents, staff and relevant authorities as well as communicate changes to procedures effectively and clearly as well as taking effective measures to understand how COVID-19 can spread and how to mitigate the spread in line with official guidelines"

“Specifically, school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly, is wearing a mask and sanitising their hands.

“Boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and putting positive students aside.

“There must be access to running water and handwashing 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.

The Education Ministry as well as PTF and NCDC urged schools to consider creative solutions of complying with the laid down by guidelines.

No comments:

Post a Comment