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States, unions differ on school resumption date

19 September 2014, 10:05

Abuja - The Federal Government, which directed public and private primary and secondary schools in the country to resume for the next academic session on October 13, had reviewed it to September 22.

The government action followed the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Lagos, which
made it to shift the resumption date to October 13 and later reviewed it to September 22 when it saw the possibility of reopening the schools.

The Federal Government said it had made tremendous progress toward tackling the EVD within the shortest possible time, as all those who had contact with the index patient, the Liberian Patrick Sawyer, who came into the country with the disease had successfully been treated and certified free of it.

However, some of them had died.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said schools can now open on September 22.

Consequently, state governments, private schools and unions were left with the decision of when to
reopen schools, as parents expressed different views on when they could send their children and wards to school.

The September 22 resumption date did not go down well with the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), as they both opposed it.

The NUT and NMA said the Federal Government had not taken adequate precaution to ensure that school children did not contract the disease.

Following the development, the NUT directed its members nationwide not to resume on the said date.                         

However, the Yobe government said schools in the state would resume on Monday, September 22, as directed by the Federal Government.

The Yobe Commissioner for Education, Mohammad Lamin, said that schools would resume on that date, while teachers received training on preventive measures on the virus.

Lamin urged teachers and students to resume as directed by the Federal Government, and warned that government would not tolerate late resumption.

"We have a lot to cover for us to move forward educationally," he said.

Also read: Teachers boycott meeting over resumption date

The Chairman of NUT in Yobe, Lawan Ibrahim, also said that schools in the state would resume on September 22, but on the condition that teachers must be trained on preventive measures by the state government before resumption.

"Teachers will only resume on the condition that they are trained on preventive measures against Ebola virus by the government before the resumption date.

"With less than a week to the scheduled resumption date, government has yet to train our teachers, so I want to make it categorically clear that until our members are trained, we may not resume on September  22,’’ Lawan said.

Meanwhile, some parents who urged government and the union to ensure adequate measures were taken to safeguard the health of both teachers and students.

-  NAN


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