The Federal Government said yesterday, that the September 22 resumption date for primary and secondary schools in the country would not be extended because there are no strong reasons for such an extension.
Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, who stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting insisted that those who have reasons to believe that the schools should not re-open on that date should forward same to the Federal Government.
The Nigerian Medical Association, as well as other professional bodies have called for the extension of the resumption date for primary and secondary schools until the country is free of the the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.
The President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Michael Alogba, says that the decision “is not a good idea at all and students should not resume until there is no single case of Ebola in the country.”
“The Federal Government has done really well in combating the scourge but I would have expected them to stick to the October 13 resumption date because we are still at a point where we are worried about the outbreak in Rivers State and the spread to other states.
“I believe that government should have remained more combative in dealing with this issue instead of succumbing to the pressure of powerful school proprietors. For our children to go back to school while EVD cases are still being recorded in different states, government should post health officers to different states to keep the states under surveillance,” he told Vanguard.
Speaking however, after the FEC meeting yesterday, Professor Chukwu said those calling for the extension of the schools resumption date were being driven by “irrational fears”.
He said unlike other countries where the disease is transmitted through community contact, Nigeria’s case was different and there was no cause for worry.
“The minister of education, after meeting with the commissioners for education from the 36 states and FCT decided when public schools should open, which is 22nd of September. In taking that decision, they considered the information that was given by the federal ministry of health that there is actually no reason now, with the expert information we have at hand, why schools cannot resume earlier than the original date of Oct. 13. I think people should just allow us to do the work we have been doing very professionally.
“It was based on advice given by the ministry of health that the minister of education took the original decision that it was going to be in October and nobody quarrelled with the minister. Now the minister, based on expert advice, has come back to say the resumption date will now be Sept 22 and some people are now quarrelling with it. I think we should allow the authorities to do their job. It is not an ordinary matter to be discussed the way we want to discuss it.
“If you have any evidence why there is need to review it (the resumption date of schools), supply such evidence to the minister of health and we will look at it.
“We have allowed a football match to go on and we screened every fan in Calabar, we screened every player and everybody, even the governor and the wife were screened.
“Unlike other countries, there is no community transmission of the disease in Nigeria; not one yet. But we have taken precautions. We may as well have said everybody should just be moving about, but we are taking precautions. There is no scientific basis for school resumption to be postponed. There is no community transmission of the disease in Nigeria. That is what separates Nigeria from other countries. It is what I call irrational fear, we don’t need to be irrational about this.
“You have asked about Nigerian Medical Association, but the only information I had from NMA is that someone informed me that he had been appointed to head a committee being set up by the NMA on Ebola Virus Disease and I replied that person, that as a government and as federal ministry of health, we look forward to collaboration. Now, collaboration doesn’t mean going to media. Collaboration means if they have information they should give it to the federal ministry of health or the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. I have not received any such information. So, if you are telling me what is in the media, I would investigate. I’ll probably call them to let me know the basis of what they are saying through the media.
“The most important thing is that we should work together, but let’s be rational in whatever we are doing so that we don’t cause panic. Panic is not welcome in this business, otherwise we will be in trouble,” he said.
#EndSARS Protest: Sanwo-Olu Orders Closure Of Schools In Lagos
The Lagos State Government led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered the closure of public and private schools indefinitely in the state.
The closure of schools in Lagos was announced in a press statement on Monday by the state’s Head of Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Kayode Abayomi.
The statement which was titled, ‘Lagos directs students to stay at home’, quoted Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, the Commissioner for Education, as saying that the schools were shut down over “tension generated by the anti-SARS protests.”
This is coming at a time #EndSARS protests against police brutality and bad governance by Nigerian youths grounded academic activities in some schools in the state on Monday.
“A new date of resumption for all classes will be announced as soon as possible.”
NECO Shifts Exam Over #EndSARS Protest
The National Examination Council, NECO, has announced the rescheduled of one of the practical examinations supposed to hold in October till the next month.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday, October 18, by the Head, Information and Public Relations Division for the Nigerian exam body, Mr. Azeez Sani.
He announced that the Paper I Computer Studies Practicals examination which was supposed to be taken on Monday, October 19 is now delayed till November 16, 2020.
Sani revealed that the postponement is a result of the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country, particularly the blockage of movement of transport at the entrance gate into Benin City, the Edo state capital.
He noted further that the truck conveying NECO examination materials had left its take-off point two days earlier to deliver to some states but has been held up in the ‘blockage.
FG, ASUU Meeting Over IPPIS, UTAS End In Deadlock
The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday ended in a deadlock.
Although some agreements were reached at the meeting, the meeting is set to reconvene on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, by 3.00 pm after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for ASUU to report back on the decision of its NEC.
In a bid to end the strike, the federal government agreed to release N30billion for payment of arrears of earned academic allowance to the university lecturers.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting revealed that the release of N20 billion funds for revitalisation of public universities will be payable by the end of January 2021.
On the issue of Earned Academic Allowances(EAA), which had accumulated to N40 billion since November 2019, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) made a commitment to release N30 billion on or before November 6, 2020.
He said the remaining N10 billion would be spread equally over the two tranches to be paid in May 2021 and February 2022, respectively.
The communiqué also revealed that ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration and revert by Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
The issue of the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) almost stalled the meeting as the federal government asked that IPPIS be allowed to operate in the interim until the test run on UTAS is concluded.
But ASUU insisted on payment of outstanding salaries on the old GIFMIS platform before full implementation of UTAS.
- News Feed20 hours ago
#EndSARS protesters break into Lagos International Airport (Videos)
- Entertainment24 hours ago
“Those Inmates In Benin Were Illegally Released By Authorities” – BBNaija’s Tacha Claims
- Entertainment2 hours ago
Regina Daniels Birthday: EVERYTHING You Need To Know
- Entertainment23 hours ago
#EndSARS: ‘We Want To Change Established Systems’ – Singer Bez
- News Feed23 hours ago
Genevieve Nnaji Reacts To Arrest Of #EndSARS Protesters In Kano
- Entertainment22 hours ago
#EndSARS: ‘The Government Does Not Want To Do The Right Things’ – BBNaija’s Leo Da Silva
- National News20 hours ago
Nigerian Youth Have Right To Protest, Says President Buhari
- Entertainment23 hours ago
“I Run My Race Alone, I Compete With No One” – BBNaija’s Gifty