‘We Are Not Taking That Risk Yet’, PTF Reacts To Reports Of Schools Reopening Amid COVID-19

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has reacted to reports that schools across the country are going to reopen on June 8, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Briefing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba who is a member of the PTF, noted that the reports are false as the Federal Government is yet to decide on when schools would reopen.

“The material that the Chairman of the PTF spoke about, which is an announcement purportedly from him that we are reopening all schools on the 8th, did not emanate from us. It is not true,” the minister said.

“Until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material, and infect people who are more susceptible to the disease than they are, then we are running a huge risk and god forbid that in our hurry, something happens to our children, I’m not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what would have been lost.

“So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible, within the guidance that they (health authorities) offer us, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation before we reopen schools”.

Nwajiuba, however, explained that while it is still currently not safe to reopen schools, plans are being made to see how the system can keep running despite the pandemic.


RELATED

May 27: We Will Stop At Nothing To Give Children Quality Education, Says Gbajabiamila

Coronavirus: FG Orders Closure Of All Tertiary Institutions, Secondary And Primary Schools

FG Considers Sectionalising Classes Ahead Of Reopening Of Schools


 

He said a publication would be released shortly as to what the re-opening of schools should look like, post-COVID.

“We are not talking about coping with COVID – there’s a difference. We’ve come to understand that COVID may not necessarily go away so we expect that we will adapt such that in the presence of COVID, we can still do what we need to do,” the minister said.

“For a country that has over 115,000 primary schools, you will understand that 35,000 of these who are private must agree to set up the same standard in order to allow children to go in.

“If you go to our Nigerian Universities, many of the things we need for social distancing may not be available so you may need to rethink it.

“For instance, which courses should be in school at which periods, we can have semesters within semesters for different department and faculties.

“It is the same we are planning for secondary school reopening. We want to bring in our JSS and SSS children first, they conclude their exams and vacate the place, then others can return.

“We will do the same thing with primary schools, where we will now limit the number of children per class.

“What this may mean is that we may have classes in the mornings and classes in the afternoons so whichever is convenient for you. I am not sure if there will be classes at night, but we can do with mornings and afternoons at the moment,”.

Speaking further, Nwajiuba explained that the government also intends for schools to utilize all their infrastructure.

“Some people will be in the field learning, some would be in classes. Some will be at different facilities all within the school,” he said.

The Federal Ministry of Education had on March 19, ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools nationwide, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country and as part of measures to contain its spread.

Since then, many schools have taken to virtual means to ensure that classes continue and students remain in touch with their curriculum, especially since a lockdown was imposed on several states across the country forcing many families to remain indoors.

COVID-19: FG Considers Sectionalising Classes Ahead Of Reopening Of Schools

 

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has said that the Federal Government is considering sectionalising classes for primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the country ahead of the reopening of schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, stated this on Wednesday during a briefing by the Task Force in Abuja.

He also debunked reports that schools are set to reopen on June 8.

According to him, they are all false.

“Until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them, this COVID material, and infect people who are more susceptible to the disease than they are, then we are running a huge risk and god forbid that in our hurry, something happens to our children, I’m not sure how anybody will be able to retrieve what would have been lost.

“So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible, within the guidance that they (health authorities) offer us, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation before we reopen schools,” the minister said.

[Read Also] May 27: We Must Continue To Offer Our Children The Best, Atiku Urges Nigerians

Nwajiuba, however, explained that while it is still currently not safe to reopen schools, plans are being made to see how the system can keep running despite the pandemic.

He said a publication would be released shortly as to what the re-opening of schools should look like, post-COVID.

“We are not talking about coping with COVID – there’s a difference. We’ve come to understand that COVID may not necessarily go away so we expect that we will adapt such that in the presence of COVID, we can still do what we need to do,” the minister said.

“For a country that has over 115,000 primary schools, you will understand that 35,000 of these who are private must agree to set up the same standard in order to allow children to go in.

“If you go to our Nigerian Universities, many of the things we need for social distancing may not be available so you may need to rethink it.

“For instance, which courses should be in school at which periods, we can have semesters within semesters for different department and faculties.

“It is the same we are planning for secondary school reopening. We want to bring in our JSS and SSS children first, they conclude their exams and vacate the place, then others can return.

“We will do the same thing with primary schools, where we will now limit the number of children per class.

“What this may mean is that we may have classes in the mornings and classes in the afternoons so whichever is convenient for you. I am not sure if there will be classes at night, but we can do with mornings and afternoons at the moment,”.

Speaking further, Nwajiuba explained that the government also intends for schools to utilize all their infrastructure.

“Some people will be in the field learning, some would be in classes. Some will be at different facilities all within the school,” he said.

May 27: We Must Continue To Offer Our Children The Best, Atiku Urges Nigerians

File Photo of Atiku Abubakar

 

Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has felicitated with children on the occasion of the Children’s Day marked world-over on May the 27th.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Atiku noted that the future would be determined by the impact we create in the lives of our children today.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to continue to fine-tune the environment to offer our children the best, particularly in education.

Also felicitating with Children, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had earlier highlighted the importance of education on their future.

[Read Also] May 27: We Will Stop At Nothing To Give Children Quality Education, Says Gbajabiamila

He stated that the House will stop at nothing to ensure the provision of quality education for Nigerian children.

The speaker also noted that all efforts would be made to reduce the number of out-of-school children in the country.

Children’s Day: Lawan Calls For Quality Education, Healthcare

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan

 

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has called for quality education and healthcare for Nigerian children.

Lawan stated this on Wednesday in a statement signed by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi, on the occasion of the 2020 Children’s Day.

He said the day was set aside to highlight the realities of children in the society with a view to promoting their well-being and happiness now and for the future.

He added that the surest route to a happy and fulfilling future for children is to provide them quality education and healthcare, and to protect them against all forms of abuse.

“I want to use the opportunity of this occasion to assure our children that the National Assembly is fully aware of the challenges that they face and will continue to work to guarantee them and our country a better future.

“I also call on the authorities at the sub-national level who have not done so, to domesticate the Child Rights Act for the sake of the future of our children,” Lawan said.

The Senate President further said that the realisation of the huge importance of Education led the Federal Government in 1976 to introduce Universal Primary Education, which in 1999 was expanded to the Universal Basic Education, and also to enact the Child Rights Act in 2003.

He, however, expressed concern that despite all such efforts, Nigeria is still heavily burdened with a high number of out-of-school children, a situation which he said portends grave danger for the country and is unacceptable.

Lawan, therefore, called for collaboration between the Federal and state governments in comprehensively addressing issues relating to the plight of Nigerian children.

He urged parents to play their roles in providing the immediate needs for their children, for the future peace of the children, parents, and the country.

Nigeria Celebrates Children’s Day

 

Today is Children’s Day, a day set apart in Nigeria to celebrate the child and highlight the issues surrounding their upbringing as well as the promotion of their rights to proper development.

The day was established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and celebrated since then on different dates in different countries of the world, including Nigeria where it is marked on May 27 every year and observed as a public holiday for children.

On November 20, 1959, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the declaration of the rights of the child and thirty years later the Assembly also adopted the convention of the rights of the child.

Both documents aim at promoting international co-operation towards the improvement of the rights and welfare of the child and promoting awareness among the world’s children.

May 27: We Will Stop At Nothing To Give Children Quality Education, Says Gbajabiamila

File photo of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the House will stop at nothing to ensure the provision of quality education to Nigerian children.

He also stated that all efforts would be made to reduce the number of Out-of-school children in the country.

The Speaker was quoted to have said this in a statement issued on Tuesday by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi, ahead of the 2020 Children’s Day Celebration.

“Nigerian children must be given all the necessary care and attention, especially quality education, that they require to attain their goals in life,” the Speaker said.

He also noted that in support of the age-long maxim that children are the leaders of tomorrow, concerted efforts must be done by all well-meaning Nigerians to achieve a better tomorrow for Nigerian children.

While celebrating them, he said he would always champion the cause of the Nigerian child both in Parliament and outside, to ensure that their potentials are carefully harnessed through good education and training.

According to him, the country cannot set aside May 27 every year to celebrate her children without taking decisive action to better their lives.

Consequently, the Speaker said all policies, including legislative framework, must be put in place to give qualitative education to the Nigerian child and ultimately, reduce the number of out-of-school children.

[Read Also] Coronavirus: FG Orders Closure Of All Tertiary Institutions, Secondary And Primary Schools

The Speaker also called on governments at all levels to come up with programmes and policies that would promote the rights of children.

Meanwhile, he called on parents to be responsible and responsive in training and taking good care of their children so that the country would be better for it in future.

Celebrating Our Future Super Heroes: itel Mobile Surprises Children Nationwide

 

SPONSORED

To celebrate Children’s Day this year, Africa’s customer-centric brand, itel Mobile, treated children nationwide to special superhero themed parties, as part of the brands CSR Initiative tagged Love Always On.

The smartphone brand, who believes that today’s children are tomorrows superheroes, decided to make the annual celebration a day to remember for children, their parents, and their guardians.

The party was held on the 27th May 2019, joined by hundreds of children including pupils from different schools and communities across different cities from Lagos, Abuja, Yola, Onitsha, Ogbomosho, Kaduna and Port-Harcourt.

Featuring a beehive of fun activities like face-painting, carousel rides, football game, and lots of other exciting side attractions, including the brand’s Happy Mascot, iBoy, who came to the party in the company of other popular cartoon friends. itel Mobile tried its best to make sure all the children were happy and satisfied. Winners of the games got amazing gifts such as educational materials and branded gift bags.

 

That wasn’t all, there were more surprises prepared by itel for the children across the country. itel Mobile partnered with the largest television network in Nigeria, NTA, to bring the fun, games, and gifts to more than 2,500 children in Lagos state.

 

 

In Abuja, the brand partnered with Oma ventures to show the importance of giving love, attention, and affection to children in the IDP camp on the 23rd of May, 2019.

In Onitsha, itel Mobile celebrated the day with children in Red Cross orphanage home in partnership with Iknobert International Limited, EBI Father Communication and Royal Global Ink Communication on the 23rd of May, 2019.

 

 

In Ogbomosho, the brand in conjunction with Ajilete FM, Gbambari, and Tundex Multibiz Golden Venture on 23rd May 2019 showed love to children on this special day.

 

 

The students of Victory Academy in Kakuri, Kaduna were not left out of the love from itel Mobile on the 24th May 2019.

 

 

While the brand engaged children in career talks, heroic stories and exciting games in Jimeta, Yola on the 24th May 2019.

 

 

In Port Harcourt, itel Mobile in conjunction with JJ phones, Vinchino, Daniella best, treated physically challenged kids in PH city to a day of fun and thrills.

 

Commenting on the celebration, Oke Umurhowo, itel Mobiles Marketing Communications Manager, West Africa, said:

At itel Mobile, we believe children are our future heroes and every child has the potential to change the world if given the right motivation, and itel has always been concerned about children’s growth and education.

Our passion goes beyond creating a smartphone for everyone that is reliable and affordable. We aim to help as many children as possible tap into their full potential whilst helping them set goals and achieve their dreams.

Since established, itel Mobile has always believed in adding value to lives through its daily operations. With the CSR initiative Love Always On, the brand has carried out several philanthropic activities like donating relief items to communities in need, car rewards for customers, sensitization on safety precautions for KEKE drivers, amongst other rewarding sponsored events around the country.

Successful brands are not only defined by the size of the market they control but also by how impactful their presence in such markets has been to consumers an initiative itel Mobile thrives on, thereby setting the pace for other brands to follow.

To see even more pictures from the Children’s Day blast of fun, visit @itelMobileNG on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Children’s Day: UNICEF Inaugurates Campaign On Child’s Right

A school pupil marches during the Children’s Day celebration in Abuja on Monday May 27, 2019. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels TV

 

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in commemoration of 2019 Children’s day has inaugurated a campaign to create awareness about the rights of children in Nigerian society.

UNICEF’s new Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Peter Hawkins, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

The campaign tagged ‘For every child, every right’ is aimed at drawing attention to the human rights of the Nigerian child.

READ ALSO: Children’s Day Celebration In Pictures

Hawkins said that while there have been many innovations over the last few years, children in Nigeria were still not accessing health, nutrition, education and other amenities as they ought to.

“While there have been many advances over the last years, children in Nigeria are still not accessing health, nutrition, education and other rights to the extent that they must.

“Sadly, it is the most disadvantaged children who are suffering the greatest challenge in having their rights fulfilled,” he said.

This year’s Children’s Day falls during the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is being commemorated this year around the world.

As part of the celebrations, UNICEF is launching a “Passport to Your Rights” – a copy of the CRC in child-friendly language, in pocket format.

Hawkins added that UNICEF aims that every child in Nigeria has a copy by 2030 – the deadline for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The CRC ‘passport’ will also be available in Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin languages, helping to ensure access by millions of Nigerians.

“Thirty years ago, something incredible happened. World leaders came together in a moment of unity for the world’s children. They made a promise to every child to protect and fulfill their rights, by adopting the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The Convention established childhood as a period that is separate from adulthood – a time in which children should grow, learn, play, develop and flourish.

“We want to see every Nigerian child have that kind of childhood.

“On this Nigerian Children’s Day, we must look ahead to the future of childhood in this country, and re-commit to urgent, specific actions to protect the rights of every child – now, and in future generations,” Hawkins said.

Children’s Day Celebration In Pictures

Children’s Day parade in Abuja. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels TV

 

It’s Children’s Day! and children world over, are being celebrated.

Just like in other major cities around the country, in the nation’s capital, Abuja, children converged on the Old Parade Ground, adorned in colourful costumes to mark their day with march pasts and other activities.

‘We Stand With You’ – Saraki, Atiku And Others Celebrate Nigerian Children

 

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, have celebrated Nigerian Children on this year’s Children’s Day.

Both Atiku and Saraki took to their Twitter pages to recognise the great strides that children across the country have made.

They also assured the children that the government will make sure they are empowered to reach their full potential.

“Nigerian children have been in the international headlines recently for exceptional achievements despite all odds. These shining lights are just an example of the potential in you, our children. Happy Children’s Day,” Atiku wrote.

Saraki, on the other hand, twitted “Today, our nation celebrates it’s future — our children; our most important national treasure. As we do so, we recommit ourselves to ensuring that all Nigerian children are empowered to aspire to achieve greatness”.

The Senate President also called on Nigerians to remember Leah Sharibu and other missing children who for various reasons would not be spending the special day with their friends and loved ones.

“On #ChildrensDay2019, we remember Leah Sharibu, and all other young Nigerian children who will be commemorating this important day without their loved ones. We commit them into our prayers, and continue to call for their unequivocal release,” he wrote.

The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregebsola, also celebrated with the Children.

Students Celebrate Children’s Day Across Nigeria

Children's Day parade in Abuja. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels TV
Children’s Day parade in Abuja. Photos: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels TV

 

Nigerian children joined their counterparts across the world to celebrate the Children’s Day which holds annually on May 27.

In many cities across the country, most students marked the day with special outings, march pasts, among other activities. More photos Here

Beyond the celebrations, it is also a day in which organisations analyse the plight of children in the society and the efforts by government and non-government agencies to improve their welfare.

In recent times, issues such as child labour, kidnapping, molestation among others, which have led to an increasing number of out of school children have been on the front burner with child rights activists intensifying efforts to give children a voice.

READ ALSO: ‘We Stand With You’ – Saraki, Atiku And Others Celebrate Nigerian Children

Meanwhile, as part of efforts to celebrate the children, Channels Television is hosting the finale of its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, the Channels International Kids Cup, today.

LIVE UPDATES: Channels Kids Cup Final

 

The final match of the Channels International Kids Cup Season 11, is currently ongoing at the Campos Square, Lagos.

Following a series of activities at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, two finalists emerged on Saturday – Adetunji Primary School from Kwara State and Banham Primary School from Rivers.

Emerging in the third place after today’s match, was Samfra School from Lagos who beat their Benin Republic counterpart, Ecole Eveil.

 

 

Stay with us for the live updates on the final match to see who wins this year’s cup.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

 

15:04 pm: Goodluck Destiny from Edo State, found a phone and N2,000 and reported to the camp commandant.

He is rewarded with N50,000 cash and a N50,000 worth of phone by the newly elected chairman of Lagos State Football Association, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

15:21 pm: Final match begins.


15:23 pm: First attempt by Rivers was fired off target.

15:27 pm: Rivers player brought down, it’s free-kick against Kwara.

15:40 pm: It’s half time: Rivers -1 Kwara – 0.


 

15: 41 pm: Goodluck Destiny gets N100k cash for honesty. Read More

—————————————————————————————————————————

15: 43 pm:  9-year-old saxophonist, Similayo Abodunrin entertains the crowd with beautiful renditions.

Similayo Abodunrin

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Football Association says it will engage Timilayo in all its activities. Read More

15:55 pm: Second half of the final match commences.


16:16 pm: Full time complete.

Barham Primary school beat Adetunji Primary School with one goal to emerge the champions.

Read Also:  Banham Primary School Rivers Win Channels Kids Cup

—————————————————————————————————————————

16:30 pm: Prizes and Awards are being shared.

 

And that’s all for this year’s Channels International Kids Cup.

Thank you for staying with us.