By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
After spending almost six months on vacation to stem the spread of CoronaVirus, primary and secondary in Bauchi State are now to reopen next month, starting from 12th October this year under strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols in the continued fight against the virus.
The State Commissioner of Education, Dr. Aliyu Usman Tilde said the re-opening of the two categories of the educational institutions in the state followed the approval to that effect by Governor Bala Mohammed who fastened the decision of commissioners of education in the nineteen northern states that met last Saturday.
Tilde, while briefing the press preparatory to the schools re-opening at Bauchi Education Ministry Friday, said, “All primary and secondary schools in the state can start reopening on 12th October, subject to the compliance of each with COVID-19 regulations on schools re-opening”.
The commissioner who recalled that the schools were closed last March at second term ending in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, with some of them reopened five weeks ago for WASSCE candidates, explained that the reopening followed low COVID-19 cases reported in the country, coupled with pressure from parents and the side-effects of prolonged school closure.
It similarly followed a meeting of stakeholders summoned by the Ministry of Education on arrangements for the reopening, among which are Ministry of Health, SUBEB, Agency for Nomadic Education, Special Schools Management Board, Army Education Corps, Nigerian Association of Private Schools, Association of Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, Parents Teachers Association and Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria.
Dr. Aliyu Tilde said that all primary and secondary schools both under his ministry and SUBEB must adopt the ten resolutions reached by stakeholders at their recent meeting which included NCDC focal persons on COVID-19 in the state will monitor and ensure compliance with the conditions stipulated in the schedule.
The commissioner said schools under his ministry could use part of their N700/child PTA charges to provide infra-red thermometer, covid-19 bucket, soap and decontamination while those under SUBEB and private schools can charge N200/child for the provision of same.
Tilde explained that schools can, where the need arises, use between now and 12 October to collect the N200 from parents to enable them meet the requirement, as parents will provide face masks for their children on all school days.
“That all schools should contract decontamination to BASEPA which will issue a certificate to that effect. No school shall reopen without prior decontamination certified by BASEPA. Any school that opens without decontamination will be shut down by the NCDC focal person”.
He stated categorically that the stakeholders’ resolutions were Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020 approved by Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, and therefore directed that all teaching and supporting staff in public schools to fully resume work at their duty stations on 3rd October, 2020 in preparation for resumption of the school calendar.