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For schools in the country in the country to be reopened, there are specific guidelines that must be adhered to, which the Federal Government has provided.
The guidelines announced by the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, on Friday cover four thematic areas, including staying home and learning safely before schools and learning facilities reopen; Reopening process; and Conditions for safety when learning facilities are reopened.
In each of these areas, actions and responsibilities, according to the Minister, are identified for various stakeholders such as “policy, financing, safe operations, learning, training, reaching the most marginalized, building back better, safety and hygiene, Infection Prevention and Control, (IPC).”
Nwajiuba noted that staying home and learning in a safe environment would address learners and educators’ basic physical safety needs and also ensure that all learners and their family members remain safe.
Added he: “This means that all education environments must be inclusive irrespective of location, access to the internet, and socio-economic bobtainable..
Furthermore, the Minister announced actions recommended to safeguard the health, safety and security of learners accessing remote learning while ensuring that quality outcomes are obtainable
These include: “Conduct online training that not only prepares teachers to teach in a way that safeguards the health, safety, and security of the learners but also enables them to facilitate learning using 21st-century pedagogy based on Information and Communications Technology, (ICT).
“Revise to strengthen current remote learning programmes initially launched for stronger curriculum backing towards improving relevance and quality on a grade level to level basis.
“Provide learners access to online resources materials, online learning platforms, radio or television programmes.
“Children and young people should stay at home and wash their hands regularly, maintain personal hygiene and adhere to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC), and World Health Organisation, (WHO), Covid-19 guidelines”.
The Minister, however, said that Federal and State Ministries of Education (SMoE) would decide when to reopen schools after due consultations with the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF).
He said before reopening, schools must also put in place measures such as safe distancing procedures; review existing policies, practices, and risk mitigation strategies; develop and display at schools simple context-specific reference protocols on day to day actions; conduct risk assessment and make recommendations for addressing the gaps, safety and hygiene.
Others are sensitization, financing, learning, and monitoring procedures.