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WASSCE: 19 states agree not to reopen schools : Nigerian Education

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The education commissioners in 19 Nigerian countries supported the federal government’s suspension of school opening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioners from across Northern Nigeria announced this in a communique issued Saturday in Kaduna state after a virtual meeting to discuss school reopening and other issues related to strengthening the education sector.

The communique was commissioned by Education Commissioner Kaduna, Dr. Shehu Makarfi, who also chairs the Northern States School Exchange Program.

Commissioners from 13 of the 19 northern states took part in the meeting, namely Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Niger, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Kogi, Kwara, Katsina, Kano, Borno and Jigawa. understands that every state is empowered under Nigerian law to issue guidelines that affect its population.

When Education Minister Adamu Adamu announced Wednesday that federal schools would withdraw from the proposed West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE), he had to ask states to do the same to protect the health of students and school workers.

The commissioners applauded Mr Adamu for speaking out against the reopening of the school and promised their full support.

It is a safe step to ensure children’s safety if schools remain closed across the country in the face of an increase in COVID-19 cases.

“We therefore decided that schools should only be reopened if it is safe and if states have followed the minimum security protocols for COVID-19 set by the NCDC.

“We will only take the West African Senior School Certificate Examination and other exams if the reopening of schools is safe and if this is coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Education,” they said.

The commissioners also decided to undertake a holistic assessment of the schools to determine security status for reopening and to submit reports to their respective governors for review.

“School infrastructure, such as dilapidated classrooms, dormitories, clean water sources, sanitation, including hand washes and security, is critical and should be improved.

“We will free the schools of bushes and grasses alike and fumigate the area around the school to support learning and ensure safety when schools resume,” they said.

However, they appealed to the federal government to support states in introducing security measures to reopen the school.

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