By Philip Yatai
The Kaduna State Government has directed public and private secondary schools, across the state, to reopen partially for academic activities on Feb. 1.
Mrs Phoebe Yayi, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education conveyed the order on Friday.
Yayi, however, clarified that only Junior Secondary School 1 (JSS 1), JSS 3 and Senior Secondary School 3 (SS 3) will open.
She added that the government also approved primary four, five and six, in private schools to reopen, while all public primary and nursery schools would remain closed.
The permanent secretary said that a resumption date for JSS 2, SS 1 and SS 2, would be communicated in due course, subject to such schools’ compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines.
She said that the government arrived at the decision, after extensive appraisal of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state and series of consultations with relevant stakeholders.
“In view of this, the ministry of education is directing all Principals and Head Teachers. to make necessary arrangements to receive Boarding and Day students of the above stated classes on Monday, Feb. 1.
“However, the State COVID-19 Task Force will continue to monitor all schools to ensure safe learning environments against the pandemic, in addition to strict adherence to the guidelines issued by the State Government.
“All administrators of public and private schools must comply with all COVID-19 Protocols. Any breach of the protocols will lead to the closure of the affected school, without any notice,” she said.
Yayi said that academic activities in the schools would run on shift bases to ensure compliance to COVID-19 guidelines with the first shift running from 08:00am to 12:00 noon while the second shift will be from 01:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m.
“The class size should not exceed 20 students with 1.5m to 2.0m physical distancing.
“The schools must also have COVID-19 Committees, which will comprise School-Based Management Committees, Parents Teachers Association, community representative, health personnel, students and teachers’ representatives, to monitor and ensure compliance.
“Parents are also advised to provide their children with face masks and other sanitary items, to help in curtailing the spread of the virus,” she stated.
The permanent secretary assured the public of the ministry’s commitment to continuing the e-learning programme, using Google classrooms, radio and television stations and other online applications.
She urged all stakeholders to join the ministry’s various monitoring teams in ensuring a safe learning environment for children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that education stakeholders in the state had, in a recent meeting, agreed that public and private secondary and primary schools should be reopened in phases.
On Jan. 24, the government gave approval for tertiary institutions, across the state, to reopen from Jan. 25.