The Federal Government has said that there is no fixed date yet for schools to resume in the country despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement on a gradual ease of the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the 21st joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
According to him, the Federal Ministry of Education could not give any date now when schools would be resuming across the country.
He also explained that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has not cancelled its external examinations as students will still have to go and take them when the government is sure that students are no longer in danger of contracting the virus.
“The Federal Government is not ready to put children at risk by opening schools.
“The President actually addressed the issue of the opening of the economy gradually. Until that is done, we cannot 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.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had eased the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States, effective from Monday, May 4.
The lockdown was imposed on March 29 as part of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Buhari, in a national broadcast on Monday, announced that he had approved gradual easing of the lockdown measures.
He said: “I have approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020.