The Federal Government says it is thinking of sectionalising classes for primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the country ahead of school reopening amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, stated this on Wednesday during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.
The minister, who faulted the reports that schools would reopen in the country on June 8, said the government could not afford to take any costly risk, especially as it regards the safety of pupils and students in the country.
He said, “Until we are sure these children can go to school, return safely and not bring up with them COVID-19 and infect people who are more susceptible than they are, then we are running a huge risk and God forbid, in our hurry, something happens to our children, I am not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what has been lost.”
Nwajiuba said the ministry was being guided by the advice of experts including those of the World Health Organisation, noting that the decision to reopen schools would be carefully arrived at because education is on the concurrent list of the Nigerian Constitution.
He appealed to private owners of schools to co-operate with the government in ensuring a safe reopening.
We are going to publish a specification on what we expect COVID-19 or post-COVID-19 reopening to look like. We are not talking about coping with COVID-19 but in spite of COVID-19, we expect that we will adapt.