The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has said that despite the announcement by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), on a gradual relaxation of the lockdown on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states, the Federal Ministry of Education could not foresee or give any date when schools will be resuming in the country.
Nwajiuba said this while responding to newsmen during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister said, “The President actually addressed the issue of the opening of the economy gradually. Until that is done, we can’t foresee or immediately tell you when all the schools will be reopened. It will not be proper for us to simply give you a date. It has to be in tandem with these opening terms. We don’t want to put our children at risk. None of these schools can function on their own without the society.
“On the question of children promoting to the next class, those exams will happen when we are satisfied that the children have learnt what is enough for them to move. For those who are in the exit classes of junior basic and senior secondary schools, we are preparing them and will continue to.
“This will go on until we are sure that they are equipped for the external examinations. The West African Examinations Council has not cancelled their external exams. It was postponed indefinitely. This indefinite nature is so that we can get a definite date. Students will still have to go and take those exams when we are sure that we have taken good care of the pupils.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Administration Education Secretariat has cautioned schools against re-opening, noting that it had not issued any directive for resumption of academic activities.
The acting Secretary for Education, FCTA, Umaru Marafa, in a statement on Tuesday, affirmed that the directive closing all schools at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic explicitly stated that it would be in effect “until further notice.”