The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that education stakeholders had, on Jan. 18, proposed Jan. 21 or Jan. 25 for schools’ resumption, subject to the approval of the state government.

Heads of tertiary institutions had, at the meeting, expressed readiness to reopen Jan. 25, if given the approval.

But, the Ministry of Health, on Jan. 21, recommended the suspension of schools’ resumption until readiness assessment for COVID1-19 was conducted.

Yaya explained that the approval came after assessing all tertiary institutions in the state to ensure their level of preparedness and plans for reopening.

She said that the COVID-19 assessment team had confirmed full compliance with the state’s COVID-19 preventive protocols and for safe learning environment against the pandemic.

The permanent secretary, nonetheless, urged managements of all the tertiary institutions to ensure strict adherence to all the guidelines and protocols put in place by the state government.

She listed some of the guidelines to include compulsory wearing of face masks by students as well as staff members, both academic and non-academic, temperature checks and washing facilities, situated at strategic locations.

Others, according to her, are constant water supply or the use of hand sanitiser; avoiding overcrowding, both in class size and hostel occupancy, and the availability of functional health facilities for isolation of suspected cases.

All the measures, which have been assessed and confirmed to be in place, must be sustained, as any lapse or bridge will lead to the closure of the erring institution without notice.

Resumption by all tertiary institutions will be in phases, as provided by the institutions and according to their academic levels and subject to their compliance with the guidelines in place.

“Unscheduled monitoring visits to schools across the state will be conducted by the task force team to ensure continuous compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines,” she said.

Yaya added that assessment, based on COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health for public and private primary and secondary schools, was ongoing.

She said that a decision would be announced once the assessment was concluded and recommendations approved.

The permanent secretary expressed the ministry’s appreciation for the support and cooperation of all stakeholders in ensuring the containment of the pandemic in the state.