We’re not ready for full resumption yet — Ogun, Enugu, Bauchi, others

We’re not ready for full resumption yet — Ogun, Enugu, Bauchi, others


States including Ogun , Katsina, Bauchi , Enugu, Sokoto, Gombe and Ekiti on Sunday ruled out full reopening of schools , including tertiary institutions , despite the success recorded so far in the fight against COVID -19 .
Officials of the state governments, in separate interviews with our correspondents , said they would not follow the Lagos State example .
Recall that schools in the country were closed in March as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID - 19 .
But Senior Secondary School 3 students were called back on August 4 to write the West African Senior School Certificate Examination , which started on August 17 .
No fewer than 53 ,727 cases had been confirmed in the country as of August 29 .
Lagos had recorded 18 , 104 cases ; the Federal Capital Territory , 5 ,149 cases and Oyo State, 3 , 107 cases . Also, Kano State had also record 1 , 725 cases as of August 29 .
On Saturday , Lagos State , which was the epicentre of the virus until a few weeks ago , said its schools would resume in September.
The state Governor , Babajide Sanwo -Olu , who disclosed this , said higher institutions would resume on September 14 , while the resumption date for primary and secondary schools was tentatively fixed for September 21 .
He said the decision was informed by the decline in the number of COVID -19 cases in the state .
The Presidential Task Force on COVID - 19 had on Thursday said coronavirus epicentre had shifted from Lagos State to Plateau State .
We are not in a hurry , we will wait for FG’ s directive – Ogun
On Sunday , the Ogun State Government said it was not in a hurry to reopen tertiary institutions , secondary and primary schools .
The government said it would avoid taking an uninformed decision to reopen schools because Lagos State had made the announcement to reopen schools .
The Special Adviser to the governor on Public Communications , Remmy Hazzan, in an interview with The PUNCH , said the state government shut the schools based on the Federal Government ’s order and would reverse the order based on the same method .
He said “ We will look at the various data base and use empirical data available .
“ The indicator that will determine when we are going to open depends majorly on the Federal Government ` s readiness to reverse the order so that we will not be seen as a state that is anti -Federal Government .
“ That is on one side . The second one is that even at that we will still rely on empirical data that science provides to guarantee the safety of our children when they return to school . So the fact that Lagos has done it is not an indicator that we have to be in a hurry to do it .”
We won’ t follow anybody ’ s timetable – Ekiti coordinator
On his part , the Coordinator of the Ekiti State COVID -19 Response Task Force, Prof Bolaji Aluko , said the state government would observe happenings in the secondary schools .
Aluko said , “ We won ’ t follow any person ’s timetable . We want to see events after the WASSCE and the JSSCE , whether students got sick , whether teachers got sick . So far, we have not seen any breakdown of students or teachers falling ill . We are still studying them . If there is no outbreak of illness , then we may start the schools .
“ But for now , we have not decided. We have not known the basis for the directive in Lagos State . But there is the possibility that our tertiary institutions resume this year . I think secondary schools also , before the end of the year . I have asked around , we have not seen any hot spot of COVID - 19 as far as the ongoing examinations are concerned .”
The Enugu State Government also said it was in contact with the Federal Ministry of Education , saying there were no plans to reopen schools yet.
The state Commissioner of Education , Prof. Uche Eze , stated this in a reply to The PUNCH ’ s inquiries about the state ’s plans for school resumption .
He stated, “ No decision to that effect yet. We are in close touch with the Federal Ministry of Education .”
Bauchi doesn ’ t follow Lagos example – Commissioner
In his response to an SMS sent to him, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Education , Dr Aliyu Tilde , said , “ Bauchi does not follow Lagos . We will open when we are ready . ”
In Katsina State , the Public Relations Officer in the state Ministry of Education , Mallam Salisu Kerau , said there was no notice yet on resumption of schools in the state .
“ No notice yet on resumption of schools and higher institutions in the state . The public will be duly informed when they are to be reopened ,” he said.
We can ’ t reopen schools if there is no safety – Gombe commissioner
Also, the Gombe sSate Commissioner for Higher Education Dr . Meshack Audu , in an interview with one of our correspondents , said , “ No specific date at the moment , but we are monitoring the situation . Government is not happy that students have stayed at home this long . Government is doing everything possible to ensure their safe return.
“ The safety of these students matters most because only the living reads ; only the living goes to school. If there is no safety in the schools , we can’ t reopen .”
The Permanent Secretary in the Sokoto state Ministry for Higher Education , Othman Ali , told one of our correspondents that , “ the decision on the likely date for the resumption of our tertiary schools will be decided by the task force on COVID - 19 , constituted by the state government . ”
On his part , the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mohammed Inname, revealed that, the state task force on COVID - 19 , would come up with a position on tertiary schools ` resumption in the state this week .

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