By Williams Anuku, Abuja
As the curve of Coronavirus infections in Nigeria gradually declines, stakeholders drawn from the Federal Ministry of Education and the United Nations Children’s Education Fund, (UNICEF), Civil Society Organisations, among others, are engaging in zonal meetings with a view to reopening schools across the country.
The brainstorming sessions which is taking place concurrently in the six geographical zones of the country commenced on Monday, September 21 and will span through Thursday, September 24, 2020.
High level Government officials including the Minister of Health, other participants drawn from the six Geographical Zones comprising of all Commissioners of Education, Health, SUBEB Chairmen, NCDC, Traditional Rulers, SBMCs, PTA and other influential leaders are also taking part in the meeting.
Before they may arrive at recommendations that may culminate in the reopening of schools, participants at the meeting would seek to get the buy in and cooperation of the various stakeholders.
They may also come up with specific roles and responsibilities for the stakeholders, before school reopens, while assessing level of preparedness and what ought to be done on safe school re-opening.
Part of the objectives is to get further input on the set template, including sharing best practices on safe school reopening.
It would be recalled that since the outbreak of COVID-19, which later resulted in total lockdown of social and economic activities for well over four weeks, all tiers of education in Nigeria had been grounded, owing to fears of a possible spike in the number of infections that might occur.
While some states have braced courage to announce resumption of academic activities, the Federal Government has been cautious to give directives on safe school re-opening, hence the brainstorming sessions.