The federal government yesterday suspended the resumption of both public and private primary and secondary schools in the country till October 13, 2014.
Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau made the announcement after meeting with states? commissioners of education to discuss the risk posed by the dreaded Ebola virus disease in the education sector.
The minister said: ?All primary and secondary schools, both public and private are to remain closed until Monday, 13th October, 2014, which is the new school resumption date for all schools throughout the federation.
?This is to ensure that adequate preventive measures are put in place before the students report back to school.
?All state Ministries of Education are to immediately organize and ensure that at least, two staff in each school, both public and private are trained by appropriate health workers on how to handle any suspected case of Ebola and also embark on immediate sensitization of all teaching and non-teaching staff in all schools on preventive measures. This training of staff must be concluded not later than 15th September, 2014.?
He further directed that, ? All state Ministries of education should establish a working and monitoring team for effective supervision of school activities before and after opening of schools. Each state ministry of education should appoint a designated desk officer not later than 1st September, 2014, who should also receive appropriate training and who must report on daily basis to the honourable Commissioner on situation in the schools. The names of such desk officers, their phone numbers and e-mail addresses should be communicated to the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education not later than 1st September, 2014.
?All primary and secondary schools, both public and private, should be provided with a minimum of two (2) blood pressure measuring equipment by the state ministries of education. The state ministries should determine the number of such equipment required and forward same to the Federal Ministry of Education not later than 1st SWeptember. [They] will liaise with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that appropriate equipment are procured.?
Shekarau stressed that all the above measures also apply in all federal government colleges. He directed that all ongoing summer schools in both public and private schools be suspended with immediate effect.
?All private primary and secondary schools must comply with the directives given under these preventive measures. State governments are called upon to support their state ministries of education with all necessary funds to ensure effective implementation of these preventive measures.?
The federal government also directed all states government to sanction any private or public school that doesn?t comply with the directives.
The Minister added that, ?Our concern is for the children and we would go to any length to ensure both private and public schools comply. You can imagine if a child is infected in a boarding school of say about 600 children; it would be very dangerous.
?We are not saying there is Ebola in all states of the federation, but we are putting preventive measures in place.?