FG releases new guidelines for reopening of schools
Following the lockdown and staggered curfew caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has set new guidelines for the reopening of schools in the country. The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, gave out the new guideline during a briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Aliyu said, “The Federal Ministry of Education, the PTF and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) have developed guidelines to ensure schools can reopen, minimize the risk of transmission and continue to operate safely.”
According to the guidelines, detailed communication protocols that include parents, school health teams, school authorities, local and state officials must be provided by schools and educational bodies who intend to reopen.
They must have a system for providing regular updates for parents, staff and relevant authorities so as to effectively communicate changes to health procedures as well as take measures to understand how COVID-19 can spread and how to mitigate the spread in line with official guidelines.
The Coordinator of the COVID-19 PTF added that school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly, wearing a mask and sanitizing their hands while access to running water and handwashing facilities are made available. Also, boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and a place to isolate positive students.
Furthermore, health staff, particularly in boarding schools must be trained and provided with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). There must also be appropriate waste management systems, health facilities that have the ability to cater to an outbreak and a response protocol for students who test positive.
Aliyu encouraged schools to consider creative solutions to abide by these guidelines, adding that, they should collaborate with the state ministries of health on planning, implementation and reopening of schools while working hand in hand with local government rapid response teams.
Also speaking, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha emphasized that states have the responsibility to ensure the safe reopening of schools and charged them to ensure compliance.
This is coming after the Federal Government gave the go-ahead for all Unity schools to open from Monday, October 12.