NIGERIA: Government reopens all Senior Secondary Schools; Checkout their outlined plans –
Secondary schools in Nigeria reopened on Tuesday for classes almost four months after they closed to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Final-year students now have just two weeks to prepare for their exams.
Face masks, social distancing and hand-washing facilities are mandatory within all schools, the education ministry says.
There are indications the government may be using this reopening to test-run the system for possibly opening all schools in Nigeria.
In mid-July, the Nigerian government said it considered the reopening of schools unsafe, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 30,000.
Nigeria has recorded almost 40,000 cases with at least 15,000 recoveries and 684 deaths ever since its index case was recorded on Feb. 27.
The increase in COVID-19 cases worries the Nigerian government and it insists the reopening of schools, earlier planned for July 12 might be very dangerous, Adamu Adamu, the education minister told the media.
“Our schools will only open when we believe it is safe for our children and that is when the situation is right, not when the number of COVID-19 infection is going up in the nation. So, I just want to make that clear,” was quoted as saying.
On June 29, the Nigerian government had announced it was considering the safe reopening of schools to allow students in graduating classes to resume in-person in preparation for examinations.
At the time, the education minister said with the latest decision, it would no longer be possible for students to prepare for or participate in any exams, including the external one conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
“Unless it is safe for our students because WAEC cannot determine for us what we do, schools will remain closed,” he said further, calling on schools that had already decided on resumption dates to rescind their positions.
Schools were shut across the country on March 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some school authorities had adopted alternative modes of learning for students at all levels.
Local analysts and interest groups had earlier cautioned the government on the reopening of schools, with some of them describing it as “premature” for now.
But with Ghana successfully reopening schools with a few reported cases, the Nigerian government has probably taken the cue and is reopening its schools.