- FG has been warned against reopening schools on January 18
- House of Reps committee on education said reopening can hinder the fight against COVID-19
- Chairman of the committee, Julius Ihonvbere, said the federal government did not consult other stakeholders before issuing the directive
The reopening of schools slated for Monday, January 18, is generating hiccups as the House of Representatives faulted the decision, citing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Reacting to the January 18 directive in a statement, Julius Ihonvbere, chairman of the House committee on basic education, said the reopening will pose a threat to the fight against the second wave of COVID-19.
Ihonvbere said the legislative arm was not reached before the federal government arrived at the decision, adding that the resumption date be postponed by three months, The Cable reports.
He also lamented that there are no "verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure" the students during the pandemic.
“We are particularly concerned that when the infection rates hovered around 500 and under, schools were closed; but now that it hovers well above 1,000 infections daily, schools are being reopened.
"Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children?
“They did not consult us; at least in my committee, nobody from the ministry spoke to me. I have been in Abuja. And I am not sure that they spoke to any of my members."
Nigeria currently has 108,943 cases of COVID-19 according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) data.
On Saturday, January 16, the disease control agency announced 1598 new cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Lagos state government re-affirmed its earlier directive that all schools in the state, both public and private (below tertiary level), should resume on Monday, January 18, for the second term 2020/2021 academic session.
Kayode Abayomi, the head of public affairs in the state's Ministry of Education, said in a statement sighted by Legit.ng that the affirmation was made on Friday, January 15, by the commissioner for education, Folasade Adefisayo.
The commissioner noted that state government's decision is in line with the federal government’s resolution after reaching a consensus with relevant stakeholders.
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