“These were among critical decisions taken at the meeting of the State Executive Council Friday evening,” Ememobong said.
“Additionally, the Akwa Ibom State University will commence the processes of resumption on 21st September 2020; College of Education, Afaha Nsit, is to reopen on 21st September 2020, while Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua will resume on October 5, 2020”.
As the schools resume, they are mandated to comply with the COVID-19 protocols.
The commissioner also noted that the state government has made face masks available for all pupils who are to write the common entrance examination.
The Lagos State Government has released the academic calendar for the 2020/2021 session for both public and private schools.
According to a statement by the Office of Education Quality Assurance, the Ministry of Education said that schools below tertiary level will resume First Term academic activities on September 21, while the term will end on December 18.
The Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, said the resumption date for the second term is January 4, 2021, adding that it will end on April 6 while that of the third term runs from May 4 through August 6.
She appealed to stakeholders to have a qualitative health and safety plan that will help protect students, teachers and workers as schools reopen in the state.
“It is not enough to reopen but to keep staying opened since some schools all over the world had to shut down after reopening due to a spike in the pandemic.
“All schools must make efforts to comply with these requirements, not just for the improvement of the overall school operations but for safe reopening for academic activities to support the Lagos State Government quest for a full return,” Seriki-Ayeni said.
The DG also advised schools to have flexible teaching and learning plans to accommodate both sick teachers and students.
In doing this, she suggested that schools should create available online platforms to avoid any COVID-19 infection in schools.
The state government also made face masks compulsory for teachers, students and visitors, adding that they must observe physical distancing, regularly wash hands with soap under running water and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene in the school premises.
Similarly, public and private schools in the state are to register online with the OEQA and take the School Self-risk Assessment.
The Ebonyi State Government has announced October 5 for the reopening of educational institutions in the state.
The state Commissioner for Education, Onyebuchi Chima disclosed this on Thursday after the State Executive Council meeting in Abakaliki, the state capital.
Chima said primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will resume next month, adding that nursery schools/crèche will not be reopened till 2021.
He noted that there will be a staggering of classes in line with the COVID-19 protocols, stressing that the state government has carried out plans to have two sessions, one in the morning (8 am- 12 pm) and the other in the afternoon (12:15 pm – 4.15 pm).
According to him, the social distancing directive in the classes is to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The commissioner promised to give more details in the coming days on modalities for the safe reopening of schools.
The state government had on March 20 ordered the immediate closure of all schools in the state following the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.
The government also banned any gathering of more than 50 persons in the state worship centres.
Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Ugballa, the government approved the immediate deployment of all health officers to all markets, rice mills, quarry, banks and other public event management centres to carry out a test on people randomly.
Ugballa revealed that the house to house test on all residents using 150 infrared thermometer devices will commence immediately.
“Government of Ebonyi State have proactively built a testing and quarantine centres at Unity square and the border between Enugu and Ebonyi and shall build more at all the exit and entering points of Ebonyi State as a way of ensuring that the health of everybody entering or exiting Ebonyi State is ascertained.
“Ebonyians are advised against handshaking and hogging, eating of animals to have been identified as means of contracting the virus should be avoided as a way of protecting themselves,” he said.
France’s education minister on Friday said 22 schools have had to shut on French territory due to the coronavirus since pupils returned to school this week, emphasising that over half of these were in the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer told Europe 1 radio that he was however pleased with how the return to school had progressed since children went back nationwide on Tuesday.
Ten schools have closed in mainland France and 12 on La Reunion, where there has been a recent surge in coronavirus cases, he said. France has some 60,000 schools nationwide.
Up to 130 classes have also been halted within schools and the minister said the authorities were checking around 250 incidents related to Covid-19 in schools every day.
These incidents are mainly linked to “factors outside school concerning people who could have been contaminated” over the summer, he said. More than three COVID cases mean that the school is temporarily shut, he said.
But he added the first week had gone “relatively well” and “despite the fears, everyone went back and that makes me very happy”, he said.
France is currently seeing a surge in coronavirus cases — with 7,157 new cases reported on Thursday — although authorities have said everything will be done to avoid any new nationwide lockdown.
The surge has worried France’s far-flung overseas territories in the Indian Ocean, Pacific and South America, where health systems are often not as sturdy as those on the mainland.
The government has reversed policy on wearing facemasks in schools in England, sparking fresh criticism about its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
Ministers had insisted face coverings were not necessary when children go back to school from next week after nearly six months out of the classroom amid concern about a rise in infections.
But in new guidance late Tuesday, the British government advised that secondary school students and staff should wear face coverings in corridors and communal areas.
The change is being seen as another U-turn, just weeks after ministers were forced to scrap the use of an algorithm which gave 17- and 18-year-olds lower-than-expected exam grades.
Teaching unions have been calling for English schools to follow guidance in Scotland, which has a separate education system, that requires pupils to cover their nose and mouth between lessons.
But while welcoming the change, critics including the main opposition Labour party said ministers had shirked their responsibility by leaving enforcement to individual schools.
Labour’s education spokeswoman Kate Green slammed a “half-baked U-turn”. “The government should have given clear guidance and a plan to deliver it,” she said.
Under-fire Education Secretary Gavin Williamson had insisted masks were not required in schools and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said there was no plan to review the policy.
But Williamson, widely blamed for the furore over exam results, on Wednesday said the government would now follow World Health Organization advice for children aged 12 and over to wear masks.
“Outside of local lockdown areas face coverings won’t be required in schools, though schools will have the flexibility to introduce measures if they believe it is right in their specific circumstances,” he said on Wednesday.
“I hope these steps will provide parents, pupils and teachers with further reassurance.”
Some 41,500 people have died in the coronavirus outbreak in Britain — the worst death toll in Europe — and the government response to the pandemic has been criticised.
Ministers were accused of not reacting quickly enough, failing to ensure enough protective equipment for frontline health and social care workers, and over the testing regime.
London reversed policy on the wearing of facemasks in shops in England after initially saying they were not necessary, and was forced to backtrack on a planned reopening of primary schools in July.
Education is a devolved issue for regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Older students in Northern Ireland will be asked to wear face coverings outside classrooms from next week. The Welsh Assembly in Cardiff is due to make its decision on Wednesday.
The Jigawa State Government has ordered the reopening of schools for final year students but vowed to shut down any school that fails to comply with COVID-19 measures.
The state Governor Badaru Abubakar made the announcement while speaking to Channels Television after inspecting some schools within Dutse, the state capital.
According to the governor, hand washing, wearing of face masks and social distancing are compulsory in all the schools as the students prepare for their final year examinations.
“We are taking it step-by-step because we don’t want to put the students at risk of contracting the virus and possibly spreading it to their families at home. That is why we must be very careful not to reopen the all schools at once,” the governor added.
He explained that 40 schools including 10 private schools and 30 public schools were given the green light to reopen for the final year students as a pilot process and now all the schools will be allowed to do the same.
The Commissioner for Education, Mr Lawal Danzomo, also warned that any school that failed to comply with the COVID-19 measures put in place by the state government will be shut down immediately.
Kano State Government has approved the reopening of Senior Secondary Schools in the state on August 10 to enable exit students to sit for their final examinations.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Monday by the state Commissioner of Education, Sunusi Kiru.
The Commissioner explained that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje approved the resumption date to enable SS3 students to write their West African Senior School Certificate Examination scheduled to commence on August 17.
According to Kiru, the state government has directed all principals and proprietors of secondary schools to note that they have only a week from August 3 to commence preparation and put adequate measures against COVID 19.
Following this development, schools have been warned against reopening before the planned date.
Also, principals are expected to ensure that working hours are reduced in the schools while adhering to the social distancing guidelines.
Meanwhile, the resumption dates for other examinations and for the rest of the classes including the SS1, SS2, and JSS 1-3 as well as primary schools will be announced in due course.
While noting that the Ministry of Education is encouraging the e-learning education program and other online platforms until full normalcy is fully returned, Kiru commended the efforts of stakeholders for their continued support.
The Kaduna State Government has fixed August 10 for the reopening of schools for Senior Secondary School 3 students.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai gave the approval to enable them to write their West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) slated for August 17, 2020.
This is in compliance with the announcement of the Federal Ministry of Education, which advised students to resume from August 4, 2020.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Kaduna State Commissioner of Education, Shehu Mohammed directed all secondary school principals to make arrangements to receive SS3 boarding students on August 9 day students on August 10 respectively.
“The guidelines include reduced hours of work/revision to 4 hours per shift, strict social distancing both in the classes, laboratories, libraries and hostels, consistency of temperature monitoring and handling any suspected case of COVID 19 case to the health authorities,” he said.
He also advised all administrators of public and private schools in the state to use the one week period to make adequate preparation and put all COVID-19 guidelines in place.
The Commissioner, however, warned schools against resuming before August 10.
The Taraba State government has asked graduating students across the over 300 secondary schools in the state to resume on August 4.
It explained that this was to enable the students revise for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The decision to allow the students return to school formed part of the resolutions reached at a meeting of education stakeholders held on Thursday in Jalingo to discuss ways to meet the set standard by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
At the meeting, the stakeholders agreed on August 3 for fumigation of all classes and hostels in the state, with the setting up of a monitoring team to ensure compliance with set standards.
This followed a broadcast by Governor Darius Ishaku on March 24 in which he ordered the shutdown of all schools with a view to curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Four months later, the government convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the best ways on how schools would reopen for graduating students to write their examinations.
In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Johannes Jigim, revealed the government has granted express approval for the procurement of personal protective equipment in all schools.
According to him, the meeting had representatives from the primary board, secondary school board, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), as well as directors and permanent secretaries in the State Ministry of Education.
“As much as we love our students, we must equally protect their lives and that of their staff,” Jigim said.
He noted that the governor has directed the Chairman on COVID-19 Technical Committee, Innocent Vakkai, to supply all the needed materials.
The commissioner added that Governor Ishaku also gave approval that all health teachers be trained on the use of thermometers to detect those showing symptoms of COVID-19.
He explained that a monitoring team has been set up to go round the 305 public and private secondary schools to monitor strict compliance with the guidelines.
Speaking about the state’s inability to provide ambulances at all the schools, the commissioner disclosed that general hospitals, primary healthcare clinics, and referral hospitals have been placed on red alert to attend to emergencies.
On the possibility of aiding private school proprietors pay its workers, he stated that they were not part of the state government’s budget.
South Africa’s public schools will close again for a month from Monday to limit the spread of coronavirus as the country grapples with surging infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.
The country has now recorded 408,052 coronavirus cases, the fifth-highest in the world. More than 6,000 people have died from the virus.
Rising infections have caused concern among teaching staff, with unions calling on the government to revoke its decision to reopen schools for certain grades in June.
“Cabinet has decided today that all public schools should take a break for the next four weeks,” Ramaphosa said during an address to the nation, adding that the academic year that is due to end in December would be extended.
Schools will be closed from 27 July and scheduled to reopen on August 24.
“We have taken a deliberately cautious approach to keep schools closed during a period when the country is expected to experience its greatest increase in infections,” Ramaphosa said.
The president also announced a “historic” R500 billion ($30 billion) social relief and economic support package to fund the health response and assist “those in greatest need”.
Africa’s most industrialised economy is expected to contract by between 6.3 and 7.5 percent due to the pandemic, according to the African Development Bank.
The President of Industrial Global Union and former vice president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, has kicked against the reopening of schools nationwide in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aremu called on the Federal Government to negotiate an out-of-season date for the conduct of the 2020 West African Examination Council for graduating students.
Speaking to journalists on Monday in Kaduna, Aremu said the Nigerian government should request WAEC to conduct the examination when the environment is right out of the regular May/June, November/December seasons.
According to him, there is an urgent need for a systematic awareness about prevention of the virus infection among pupils, teachers and parents before the government will consider reopening of schools.
While commending the Presidential Task force on COVID-19 for handling the pandemic, the labour leaders also called for the continuous dialogue by all stakeholders on how to reopen schools.
He noted that doing so will protect the lives of students and ensure digital creative learning processes.
Speaking further, he stressed the need for schools to put all the necessary safety materials in place including installation of hand-washing facilities, provision of equipment for body temperature checks, provision of personal protective equipment and decontamination of all entering points to their major facilities, including the gates, hostels, classes and offices.