Richard Ginika Izuora
The Federal Government has released fresh guidelines for the safe reopening and running of schools across the country.
The guidelines were released on Thursday by the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, during its press briefing in Abuja.
In his update on Thursday, Aliyu stressed that a healthy learning environment could not be overemphasized.
He also urged all relevant authorities to take note of the guidelines and ensure their implementation for the safety of the country.
“The Federal Ministry of Education, the PTF and the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) have developed guidelines to ensure schools can reopen, minimise the risk of transmission and continue to operate safely.
“Schools and educational bodies that plan to reopen must have detailed communication protocols that include parents, school health teams, school authorities and local (and) state officials.
“They must also have a system for providing regular updates for parents, staff and relevant authorities as well as communicate changes to procedures effectively and clearly as well as taking effective measures to understand how COVID-19 can spread and how to mitigate the spread in line with official guidelines.
“Specifically, school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly, is wearing a mask and sanitising their hands.
“Boarding schools must have identified areas for screening and putting positive students aside.
“There must be access to running water and handwashing facilities.
“The health staff, particularly in boarding schools, must be trained and provided with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
“There must be appropriate waste management systems.
“Health facilities that are within the schools that serve the schools should have the ability to cater for an outbreak and a response protocol must be in place for these schools for students who test positive. In this regard, it is important to involve their parents and make sure that parents have signed consent forms in advance.
“Schools should also work in synergy with the local government rapid response teams and collaborate with the state ministries of health on planning, implementation and reopening of schools.
“We encourage schools to consider creative solutions to abide by these guidelines,” he said.
Oriental News Nigeria, reports that the Federal Ministry of Education had ordered the resumption of Unity Schools by October 12.