104 Unity Schools Ready To Reopen For Exit Classes – FG

A file photo of the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, at a press briefing in Abuja on July 6, 2020.

 

All the 104 Unity Colleges across the country are ready to open their gates to students in exit classes, the Federal Government has said.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said this in a statement on Monday by the Director of Press and Public Relations at the ministry, Ben Goong.

Ahead of the reopening scheduled to begin on Tuesday, the minister announced the preparedness of the unity colleges at a meeting with Commissioners of Education of the 36 states of the Federation via the Zoom platform.

He commended the principals of the schools for the comprehensive preparation put in place for the reopening of the schools.

According to the statement, the commissioners across states reported varying degrees of preparation and readiness for reopening of schools between August 4 and 10 for virtually all schools within their jurisdictions.

“From today (Monday), the Honourable Minister of State for Education, Permanent Secretary, and Directors will embark on an assessment tour of all Unity Colleges to ascertain and confirm the reports they have received from the Principals of Unity Colleges,” it said.

READ ALSO: FG Announces Dates For NECO, NABTEB, Common Entrance Exams

covid-19 update
A map showing Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases as of August 2nd, 2020. Channels TV/Benjamin Oluwatoyin.

 

The statement added, “Federal Education Quality Assurance Directors deployed to the States have been directed to monitor compliance in their respective states.

“Honourable Commissioners from the States were enjoined to embark on assessment tours in their jurisdictions to ascertain the level of preparations for reopening.”

While most schools would reopen on Tuesday, Nwajiuba noted that others would continue to fine-tune their preparations in the coming days for reopening.

He asked all school authorities to communicate their specific reopening dates to their parents and students in order to avoid chaos in the system.

The minister also advised that all returning students should undergo temperature checks among other protocols before being admitted into their schools.

He met with the commissioners a week after he announced the dates of the examinations for students in various graduating classes in the country.

They include the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) organised by the National Examination Council (NECO) for students in SSS 3, and the National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) examinations.

Others are the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) for JSS 3 students and the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) for intending primary school applicants into Unity Colleges.

COVID-19: FG Gives Guidelines To School Owners For Reopening

In this photo taken on July 6, 2020, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, speaks at the PTF briefing in Abuja.

 

The Federal Government has given school owners across the country up to July 29 to meet specific guidelines towards the reopening of schools at a date to be announced in due course.

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, stated this on Friday at his office in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Having consulted widely, he revealed that the ministry has developed and circulated guidelines for the reopening of schools, working with the Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and the Education in Emergencies Working Group.

Nwajiuba stressed the need for school owners to prepare and comply with the guidelines, as well as undertake self-assessment and send feedback to the Ministry of Education in their respective states not later than July 29.

He noted that the government would further engage with relevant stakeholders to review the situation and decide on a specific date for reopening of schools or otherwise.

The minister said having taken the painful but necessary decision not to reopen schools without necessary preparations to ensure the safety of students and teachers, the Federal Ministry of Education has continued consultations with stakeholders and a mechanism to assess and monitor compliance would be put in place.

Female Candidates Outshine Male As WAEC Withholds 180,205 Results
A file photo of WAEC logo.

 

On the WAEC examination, he said “We met with WAEC on Monday and have agreed to further consult with four other countries on new examination date.

“We appreciate the concern shown by all stakeholders and note the divergent views expressed on the matter.”

Nwajiuba added, “Parents should rest assured that the safety of our students and teachers is paramount as we work assiduously towards speedy reopening of our schools for the exit classes to take external examinations.”

Read the guidelines issued by the government below:

SUMMARY OF THE GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING OF SCHOOLS

The guidelines cover four thematic areas:

Staying home and learning safely

Before schools and learning facilities reopen

Reopening process

Conditions for safety when learning facilities are reopened.

In each of these areas actions and responsibilities are identified for various stakeholders such as policy, financing, safe operations, learning, training, reaching the most marginalized, building back better, safety and hygiene, Infection Prevention and Control, (IPC).

STAYING HOME AND LEARNING SAFELY

Ensuring continuity of learning is vital.

Staying home and learning in a safe environment does not only address learners and educators’ basic physical safety needs but also ensure that all learners and their families/ household members are safe.

This means that all education environments must be inclusive irrespective of location, access to the internet, and socio-economic background.

The following actions are recommended to safeguard the health, safety and security of learners accessing remote learning while ensuring that quality outcomes are obtainable:

Conduct online training that not only prepares teachers to teach in a way that safeguards the health, safety, and security of the learners but also enables them to facilitate learning using 21st-century pedagogy based on Information and Communications Technology, (ICT).

Revise to strengthen current remote learning programs initially launched for stronger curriculum backing towards improving relevance and quality on a grade level to level basis.

Provide learners access to online resources materials online learning platforms, radio or television programs

Children and young people should at home and wash their hands regularly, maintain personal hygiene and adhere to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC), and World Health Organisation, (WHO), Covid-19 guidelines.

 

BEFORE SCHOOLS AND LEARNING FACILITIES REOPEN

Federal and State Ministries of Education (SMoE) should decide when to reopen schools after due consultations with the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF) and other critical stakeholders taking into consideration key requirements listed in the guidelines. In each state, a functional School Health programme chaired by a state school health focus officer should be put in place while a school focal officer should be assigned in every school.

Schools must also put in place systems that meet the following:

Safe distancing procedures

Alternative learning models for safe distancing. The guideline proffers diverse alternative learning models tailored to the specific learning context that assures equity in learning

Review existing policies, practices, and risk mitigation strategies in the use of schools for other purposes, such as distance learning centres, temporary shelters, isolation, quarantine and treatment centres, markets, voting centres, and others.

Develop and display at schools’ simple context-specific reference protocols on day to day actions to be operated in each school.

Conduct risk assessment with a view to understanding the gaps in the system that can increase the risk of transmission and make recommendations for addressing the gaps

Safety and hygiene in all stages and phases of the school reopening process which promote behaviours that reduce spread, such as school commutes (to and from school travelling), safe distancing, frequent hand washing, and the use of facemasks.

Other guiding framework includes sensitization, financing, learning, and monitoring procedures.

 

THE REOPENING PROCESS

Adjusting to the new school process requires much planning. A phased and gradual reopening of schools is advocated to minimize the risk of infections in schools and the resurgence of COVID-19 infections in the community. This involves measures including:

Training of teachers and other personnel on safety and hygiene measures.

Establishing a COVID-19 referral system.

Ensure availability of an ambulance and access to a testing/isolation/treatment centre including NCDC helpline and state government facilities.

Ensure adequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities across the school premises.

De-congesting classrooms, hostels, worship centres, and other spaces.

Encouraging use of open spaces for gathering and promoting outdoor activities.

Establish a staff/students committee for regular surveillance, monitoring, and enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines.

 

ENSURING SAFETY WHEN SCHOOLS AND LEARNING FACILITIES REOPEN

Preventive actions are sustained through regular monitoring of compliance in schools after reopening to ensure the safety and health of all learners, teachers, administrators, and other education personnel.

Each school will comply with periodic Joint Risk Assessment for Safe Reopening of Schools and Learning Facilities Checklist under Annex A of the guidelines.

Implementing these guidelines will require the collaborative support of all stakeholders to reopen schools and learning facilities.

With the guidance offered in this document, schools should be able to put systems in place that allow them reopen in a way that protects learners, teachers, administrators, parents, and all stakeholders while providing high-quality education.

COVID-19: WAEC, NECO Postponement Is Indefinite – FG

Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba gives an update on the COVID-19 situation in the country on April 21, 2020.

 

The Federal Government has reacted to the continued closure of educational institutions in the country over the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja over the virus, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said the postponement of examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) remain indefinite.

He also recalled that the Ministry of Education had in March shut tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools in the country as precautionary measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister while noting that rendering educational services to the masses is in the concurrent list, said the Federal Government will communicate a new resumption date to all stakeholders.

“As you are aware, we have announced that WAEC and NECO for the year have been postponed. This postponement at the moment is indefinite.

“As soon as we arrive at a definite time, we will re-communicate that. We will also be looking at what we will do in order for schools to reopen. As you will recall, we asked that schools vacate in the late part of March as soon as this broke.

“Now it will be a coordinated effort among all the states because the lockdown in various parts will definitely affect how students go to school or not or how teachers come to school or not. So it goes with that saying that nobody can reopen schools now except we coordinate all of that effort,” he said.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 117 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Infections Now 782

Speaking further, he solicited the cooperation of parents regarding efforts put in place to render online services to students staying at home during the lockdown period.

According to him, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had directed the Ministry through the Directorate of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enable students learn online.

Nwajiuba explained that his Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Information plans transmitting educational contents to Nigerians.

He said that currently, about 14 or 15 states in the country including Lagos and Anambra run some educational contents to carry students along.

“Right now, what has happened is that that 14 or 15 states have already commenced learning via different channels that are available in their states, mostly radio and local TV.

“What they are running is an approved NERDC curriculum. That is ongoing at the moment, not all the states have started the programme but mostly Anambra, Lagos, a few states about 14 of them.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Information through NTA and the Federal Radio Corporation to then escalate what they have as their education content so that they can provide for everybody. They are still working on that, it is ongoing,” he stated.

COVID-19: WAEC, NECO Postponement Is Indefinite, Says FG

A file photo of students in an examination hall.
A file photo of students in an examination hall.

 

The Federal Government has reacted to the continued closure of educational institutions in the country over the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said the postponement of examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) remain indefinite.

The Ministry of Education had in March shut tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools in the country as precautionary measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister, while noting that rendering public educational services is in the concurrent list, said the Federal Government will communicate a new resumption date to all stakeholders.

“As you are aware, we have announced that WAEC and NECO for the year have been postponed. This postponement at the moment is indefinite.

“As soon as we arrive at a definite time, we will recommunicate that. We will also be looking at what we will do in order for schools to reopen. As you will recall, we asked that schools vacate in the late part of March as soon as this broke.

“Now it will be a coordinated effort among all the states because the lockdown in various parts will definitely affect how students go to school or not or how teachers come to school or not. So it goes with that saying that nobody can reopen schools now except we coordinate all of that effort,” he said.

Speaking further, he solicited the cooperation of parents regarding efforts put in place to render online services to students staying at home during the lockdown period.

According to him, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, had directed the Ministry through the Directorate of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to enable students to learn online.

Nwajiuba explained that his Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Information plans to transmit educational content to Nigerians.

He explained that currently, about 14 to 15 states in the country, including Lagos and Anambra run some educational content to carry students along.

“Right now, what has happened is that those 14 or 15 states have already commenced learning via different channels that are available in their states, mostly radio and local TV.

“What they are running is an approved NERDC curriculum. That is ongoing at the moment, not all the states have started the programme but mostly Anambra, Lagos, a few states, about 14 of them.

“We are also working with the Ministry of Information through NTA and the Federal Radio Corporation to then escalate what they have as their education content so that they can provide for everybody. They are still working on that, it is ongoing,” he said.

I’ll Ensure Budget 2017 Is Not Padded – President Buhari

I'll Ensure Budget 2017 Is Not Padded – President BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that the distortions that happened to Budget 2016, in which series of projects and figures were injected into the financial document will not happen to budge 2017. 

The President received members of the Governance Support Group (GSG), led by Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at State House, Abuja on Friday and made the promise.

The President said: “I am waiting for the 2017 Budget to be brought to us in Council. Any sign of padding anywhere, I will remove it.”

President Buhari reiterated that he had been in government since 1975, variously as governor, oil minister, head of state, and Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), “and never did I hear the word ‘padding’ till the 2016 Budget.”

He promised that such would never happen again under his watch.

The President said that the government stands by its tripod campaign promises of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, but lamented that some people are deliberately turning blind eyes to prevailing realities in the country.

“They don’t want to reflect on the situation in which we are, economically. They want to live the same way; they simply want business as usual,” he said.

On violence that attend rerun elections in the country, President Buhari stated:

“I agonized over the elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers states. We should have passed the stage in which people are beheaded, and killed because of who occupies certain offices. If we can’t guarantee decent elections, then we have no business being around. Edo State election was good, and I expect Ondo State election to be better.”

Speaking on the anti-corruption cases before the courts, the President said he believed the cleansing currently going on “will lead to a better judiciary”.

“When people are sentenced, Nigerians will believe that we are serious.”

President Buhari equally told his guests that the progress being made in agriculture and exploitation of solid minerals “gives a lot of hope”.

He added: “Our grains go up to Central African Republic, to Burkina Faso, but they can’t buy all the grains harvested this year. And next season should be even better.

“We will focus on other products like cocoa, palm oil, palm kernel, along with the grains. We can start exporting rice in 18 months, and we are getting fertilizers and pesticides in readiness for next year.”

Speaking on behalf of members of GSG, Hon. Nwajiuba said the government had succeeded to a large extent on the security and anti-corruption fronts, adding that the group was positive that the economy would soon experience a turnaround, “as the government is working very hard in that direction.”

The group said the biggest constituency of the President was the poor and lowly, and thus recommended what it calls “a social re-armament of the poor.”