Kogi State to reopen schools Sept. 14

School children wearing face masks gather outside their classroom at a primary school in Attecoube, popular district of Abidjan on May 25, 2020 on the first day after resumption of classes after the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja, Sept. 1, 2020 The Kogi Government on Tuesday announced that primary schools, secondary and tertiary institutions in the state would reopen on Sept. 14.

The State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Wemi Jones, made the announcement during a news conference in Lokoja.

According to Jones, the State Government took the decision after series of interaction with relevant stakeholders and assessment of both private and public schools in the state to ascertain their level of preparedness and safety for reopening of schools from COVID-19 break.

”You will recall that Gov. Yahaya Bello had directed the closure of all schools from primary to tertiary institutions in the state from March 23, because of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

”’Subsequently, upon the directive of the Federal Ministry of Education, exit classes were opened for Primary 6, JSS3 and SS3 in Kogi on Aug. 10, to particularly allow the SS3 classes to prepare and write the WAEC examination.

”Therefore, upon further review, having held several meetings with relevant stakeholders, the governor has directed that all schools in Kogi should fully reopen on Sept. 14, 2020,” he said.

The commissioner stressed that the state government arrived at the decision after assessing the situation of schools especially for the exit classes that had resumed, saying ”we have not recorded any negative report as far as COVID-19 pandemic is concerned.

”Hence, the governor deemed it fit for every school to open for full academic activities,” he said.

He, however, advised all heads of schools to ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols which had been clearly set out by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

He added that the ministry would review the state’s Academic Calendar accordingly to reflect the new development and that details would be worked out and released to relevant stakeholders in due course before resumption.

Jones enjoined all relevant educational stakeholders like ANCOPSS, ASSUS, SUBEB, NAPPS, NUT, STETSCOM, Heads of state’s tertiary institutions, and every other stakeholders to liaise with the ministry for further clarification.

He equally informed the general public, parents, guardians, school heads that the state government was very particular about the health and safety of learners in Kogi.

”So, the state government will ensure that our learners are kept in good condition as far as COVID-19 pandemic and indeed other diseases or health issues are concerned.

”We encourage everybody to play their roles by ensuring personal hygiene’’, reiterating that personal hygiene remained the personal responsibility of everybody.

”For the higher institutions, I have personally placed direct telephone calls to the heads of all state’s tertiary institutions and I had discussions with them to ascertain their level of preparedness. It appears that all of them are fully ready for schools’ reopening.

”We have equally asked them to get in touch with the ministry, should there be any further requirements in order for them to make their institutions safe for the benefit of students and staff,” the commissioner said.

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