Rivers Govt Directs Schools To Reopen On Monday

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

The Rivers State government has directed private and public schools in the state to reopen on Monday.

This was announced by the Permanent Secretary at the Rivers State Ministry of Education, Chidi Adiele, in a statement on Sunday.

According to Adiele, all schools in Rivers are to resume academic activities on January 4 for the completion of the first term academic session.

He explained that the directive was issued with the approval of the state governor, Nyesom Wike, in line with the school calendar published in August 2020.

The government, however, warned the schools to maintain all COVID-19 protocols, including the wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitisers.

It also asked them to introduce staggered classes for morning and afternoon in order to avoid overcrowding of the schools.

Read the full statement below:

RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Press Release

The Ministry of Education wishes to announce that, with the approval of His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike, the school calendar published in August 2020 stands.

Accordingly, both public and private schools in the State are hereby reminded that schools will resume on 4th January 2021 for normal academic activities.

Schools are to maintain all COVID-19 Protocols, including the wearing of face masks, use of hand sanitisers, and staggered classes/ morning and afternoon sessions in order to avoid overcrowding.

The Ministry wishes all pupils, students, parents, and guardians the very best of the year.

SIGNED:

Sir Chidi Adiele

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Education

Kankara Kids: Shehu Sani Advises Govt On How To Protect Schools In The North

Shehu Sani Decries Bandits' Activities In Kaduna, Three Other States
A file photo of Senator Shehu Sani.

 

A former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, has advised authorities in Nigeria on how to protect schools in the northern part of the country.

He gave the recommendations via his Twitter handle on Saturday in the wake of the recent abduction of hundreds of students from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State.

Senator Sani, who represented Kaduna Central district, called for the abolition of boarding schools in the rural areas of the region.

He also advised that students and teachers in the schools should be properly trained on what to do and how to attend to emergency security situations when such arise.

READ ALSO: ‘How I Became President’, Buhari Inspires Kankara Boys To Return To School

The activist believes the establishment of a special security unit for schools in the North will go a long way in ensuring the security of students and their teachers.

He also suggested that perimeter walls should be built around the schools, and the installation of CCTV cameras and alarm systems should be encouraged.

In other tweets, Senator Sani noted the release of the schoolboys abducted in Katsina – after spending about one week in captivity.

He, however, faulted those he said were taking credit for the success when nobody has taken responsibility for the failure in Zabarmari in Borno State where over 40 farmers were massacred by Boko Haram insurgents.

The activist stressed the need for leaders to look beyond party lines and political affiliations and promote national unity, insisting that the country was at war with terror.

Kankara Abduction: Kano Govt Shuts Schools, Health Institute

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje speaks during the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House on October 6, 2020.

 

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has ordered the immediate closure of all public and private schools in the state.

The Kano State Commissioner of Education, Sanusi Kiru, who disclosed this to Channels Television on Tuesday evening, said the state government also closed down “all public and private health training institutions, including schools of basic/postbasic nursing and midwifery, schools of health technology and school of hygiene with immediate effect.”

The commissioner asked parents whose children are in boarding schools to pick them on Wednesday.

“His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Kano State has approved the closure of all public and Private Schools in the State with immediate effect,” he said.

“Parents whose children are in boarding schools are to also arrange and convey their children/ wards back home from tomorrow, Wednesday, 16th December 2020.”

Although the state government did not give the reason for the immediate closure, it is believed to be connected to the abduction of 333 students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in neighbouring Katsina State on Friday night.

READ ALSO: Like Kaduna, Jigawa Govt Orders Closure Of Schools Over Rising COVID-19 Cases

Following the unfortunate incident, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack, in what appears to be a major expansion of the jihadist group’s activities into new areas.

“I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” the leader of Boko Haram said in a voice message.

More than 100 gunmen on motorcycles stormed the rural school north of Kankara town, forcing students to flee and hide in the surrounding bush.

The immediate closure of the schools comes three days to the end of the third term as schools in Kano were expected to vacate on Friday, December 18.

   Katsina Parents Keep Vigil 

Meanwhile, the parents of the abducted GSSS, Kankara students have converged on the premises of the school patiently waiting for their children to return as promised by the government.

Their gathering is coming less than one week after the abduction took the nation by surprise.

The parents have also been recounting their experiences as they continue to hope for the return of their children.

Speaking to Channels Television, two of the parents said they couldn’t sleep, adding that they will continue to be spending the night at the school until their children are rescued safely.

Upon arrival at the school gate on Tuesday, Channels Television discovered that the Ƙanƙara school is located at the centre of a bush leading to some scattered settlements some of which are Zango and Dansabau in Zamfara border axis.

It also gathered that besides the school fence is a busy road leading to Ƙanƙara weekly Tuesday Market with daily business activities on the increase.

Like Kaduna, Jigawa Govt Orders Closure Of Schools Over Rising COVID-19 Cases

A file photo of a Jigawa map.
A file photo of the map of Jigawa, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

The Jigawa State government has announced the closure of public and private primary and secondary schools across the state.

It directed that the schools should be closed with immediate effect from Tuesday following the increasing cases of coronavirus in the country.

The acting Permanent Secretary at the State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Rabiu Adamu, made the announcement in a statement released to reporters in Dutse, the state capital.

He advised parents and guardians to prepare for the evacuation of their children and wards back home from Wednesday, especially those in boarding schools.

READ ALSO: COVID- 19: Kaduna Shuts Schools Over Spike In Infections

Amid the rising numbers of infections in Nigeria, the Jigawa State Task Force on COVID-19 said 14 new cases were reported from various parts of the state.

Of the new infections, 11 were said to be National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in the state.

The closure of schools in Jigawa follows a similar decision taken by the Kaduna State government as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus in the north-western state.

Banditry: Zamfara Govt Orders Closure Of 10 Schools

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

The Zamfara State government has ordered the immediate closure of some Boarding and Day Schools in the state.

Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is the Commissioner for Education, made the announcement while briefing reporters in Gusau, the state capital.

He explained that the affected schools were those that share borders with Katsina, Kaduna, and Sokoto States.

READ ALSO: Senators Lament Over Increased Insecurity, Call For Removal Of Service Chiefs

The commissioner noted that the three states were prone to banditry, saying that the decision was important to forestall any form of attack on the schools.

He added that the action was necessary considering the security situation in the country and to prevent what happened at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State.

Abdullahi assured parents and guardians that the safety of the students was paramount to the state government.

He revealed that the government has concluded plans to deploy security operatives to the remaining schools that were not closed.

The affected educational facilities comprise seven boarding schools and day schools.

Boarding schools listed include G.S.S. in Tsafe, G.S.S. in Magaji, G.A.S.S. in Zurmi, G.G.S.S. in Moriki, Science Secondary School in Shinkafi, Science Secondary School in Dansadau, and Science Secondary School in Bukkuyum.

The affected day schools are G.D.S.S. in Nasarawa Mailayi, G.D.S.S in Gusami, and G.D.S.S. in Gurbin Bore.

WAEC To Bar Students, Deregister Schools To Curb Examination Malpractice

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

 

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has approved stringent sanctions against candidates, supervisors, and schools involved in examination malpractice.

A statement from the acting Head of Public Affairs at the WAEC office in Yaba, Demianus Ojijeogu, noted that the approval was made at the 70th meeting of the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the council held from Thursday to Saturday last week in Lagos.

In the course of considering the various reported cases of malpractice and after diligent deliberations, the committee approved appropriate sanctions in all established cases of malpractice, as prescribed by the Rules and Regulations governing the conduct of WAEC examinations.

It approved that the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Entire Results (CER), be cancelled, while subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attracted Cancellation of Subject Results (CSR), be also cancelled.

According to the council, some candidates will suffer other sanctions such as barring them from sitting for the WAEC examinations for a certain number of years, and some schools will be derecognised for a specified number of years or have their recognition completely withdrawn.

It added that supervisors found wanting in the discharge of their examination duties would be formally reported to their employers and blacklisted while some invigilators would be reported to the appropriate authorities for disciplinary action.

“The decisions of the committee will be implemented without delay and the affected candidates and schools duly informed by the Council.

“However, the results of candidates who were exonerated by the committee would be released,” the statement said.

The committee, which is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examination-related matters in Nigeria, meets twice a year to consider matters relating to the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates and private candidates.

Its statutory Chairman is the Chief Government Nominee on Council and Director of Basic and Secondary Education in the Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.

At the meeting, the committee also considered special cases, clemency appeals from WASSCE for school candidates in 2020, and restitution cases for various years.

It received a report on the statistics of entries and results for WASSCE for private candidates (2019-second series), and WASSCE for private candidates (2020-first series).

Kano Private Schools Obey Govt’s Directive, Slash Fees By 25 Per Cent

A map of Kano state in northern Nigeria.-Kanooooo
A map of Kano, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Kano State chapter of the Association of Private Schools Owners of Nigeria (APSON), has agreed to reduce school fees charges by 25 per cent as directed by the State Ministry of Education

According to a statement on Monday by the State Commissioner of Education, Muhammad Sanusi Sa’id-Kiru, the members unveiled their decision when they paid a solidarity visit to the Commissioner of Education in his office.

Earlier, the state government threatened to cancel the third term of the private schools unless the proprietors cut down school fees to 25 per cent.

The commissioner said APSON’s National Deputy President, Maryam Magaji, “has informed me that their association has decided to comply with the government directives for the reduction of the school fees with a view to cushioning the effects of the economic hardship suffered as a result of the covid-19 pandemic by parents in Kano State.”

While noting that the government’s directives for schools to slash fees were not meant to hurt proprietors, Kiru said it was done in the best interest of the educational development of the state.

Secondary Schools In Akwa Ibom To Resume September 28

Police Arrest 10 Suspects For Political Violence In Akwa Ibom
A map of Akwa Ibom, a state in south-south Nigeria.

 

After months of being shut down, public secondary schools in Akwa Ibom, are now set to resume on September 28.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong on Saturday.

According to the statement, private secondary schools have also been directed to commence the process for resumption from September 21.

“Primary schools are also to commence processes for the resumption of primary six pupils only, on 21st September, 2020 to prepare them for the common entrance (exit examinations).

Read Also: Lagos Govt Releases Academic Calendar For 2020/2021 Session

“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.

Lagos Govt Releases Academic Calendar For 2020/2021 Session

Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo. Credit: Twitter

 

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.

READ ALSO: Ebonyi To Reopen Schools On October 5

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.

Ebonyi To Reopen Schools On October 5

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State 

 

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 Closes 22 Schools Over Rise In COVID-19 Cases

Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Set For Final Trial Stage After 'Promising' Results
In this file photo taken on May 18, 2020, a syringe is pictured on an illustration representation of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in Paris. JOEL SAGET / AFP

 

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.

AFP

UK Govt Changes Its Mind On Masks In English Schools

PM Johnson Says UK Anti-Racism Protests 'Hijacked By Extremists'
In this file photo taken on April 12, 2020. A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he delivers a television address after returning to 10 Downing Street after being discharged from St Thomas’ Hospital, in central London on April 12, 2020. Pippa FOWLES / 10 Downing Street / AFP.

 

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.

AFP