The Federal Government has berated the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, on his decision to reopen schools in Oyo State amidst COVID-19 pandemic, describing such as insensitive to the health of the people.
Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Uwajiuba, said this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 daily news conference in Abuja.
It will be recalled that Gov. Makinde had earlier ordered the reopening of schools across the state.
Uwajiuba said, ‘it is expedient to recognise the fact that Oyo State is a government operating under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Federating unit’.
‘The governor has the right to reopen school as he deem fit, but the primary purpose of governance remain the security of its people’.
Uwajiuba said the Federal Government had over 138,000 schools across the country and for the governor to open the schools was in the very least insensitive.
He, however, urged parents to, as a matter of urgency, keep their children and wards under lock and key, to forestall contacting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The minister appealed to parents and guardians, whose children and wards would be writing the West African Examinations Council to bear with the government, pending when the necessary arrangements would be made.
He noted that if there was anything the government could do to help in the present circumstances; it would not fail to act.
Uwajiuba stated that the ministry had fixed a meeting with WAEC on how it would arrange the examination time for the exit year children, for revisions in their subjects, to be able to prepare well for their exams
Mainwhile, the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force has modified the resumption date for Primary six, Junior Secondary School III and Senior Secondary School III students in the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the Commissioner for Education, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye and experts from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) had been going around the schools to determine compliance with the COVID-19 prevention protocols put in place by the schools.
The statement added that the team has since discovered that a space of one week was needed to enable the schools test-run the facilities, especially the handwashing points and the security measures.
The statement read: “By the new arrangement, Teachers are to resume to the schools on Monday, June 29, 2020, while students in critical classes including Primary 6, JSS3 and SS3 will resume a week later on July 6, 2020.
“As of Monday, June 22, no fewer than 372 heads of schools have been trained by the EOC on the management of the COVID-19 containment procedures, while each of the schools is to appoint an incident manager, who will ensure compliance with the approved COVID-19 protocol.
“Each student is expected to wear face masks, while the schools are to prepare well laid out handwashing spots to guarantee regular washing of hands by the students and teachers.
“The Task Force also resolved that by July 15, the state government would have reviewed the situation with the schools and come to a conclusion whether the remaining classes would be able to resume or whether the students would have to wait to resume the new session in September 2020.”