The Nigerian government has hinted that plans are underway to reopen schools after months of shutdown as a result of COVID-19.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, disclosed this during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday.
The minister stated that plans are underway to disinfect school children before and after school daily.
He however denied that the government has already set a reopening timetable of two weeks as been rumoured in some quarters.
“Federal Government is already making plans to reopen schools nationwide but it won’t happen in two weeks as being speculated in some quarters.
“We all are seriously interested in reopening and I believe we will reopen soon. But I can’t confirm what your children said that we will reopen in two weeks.
“The issue around reopening has nothing to do with the availability of the schools or not. It has to do with national governance.
“You heard the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the SGF, keep saying it is a national response.
“It is a single national response and everything we do flows from that.
“When they determine, I’m sure you have seen all the experts here, if they say that there is a measure of safety to which we can expose our children, we will gladly do that.
“We are watching and we are working with all bodies within and outside the country.
“The five countries of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) are meeting and I just came out of a meeting with African Union (AU) Ministers of Education, everybody is concerned as you are.
“We hope to reopen very soon. This morning, I met with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
“We are looking at putting a system in place that can disinfect every child as he goes into a school and disinfect him as he goes out.
“If we resource our schools properly we can begin to reopen.
“But we must be able to ensure that the children go in safe and come out safe and not become a conduit for further infection in society,” Nwajiuba said