Nigeria’s Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, says no date has been fixed yet for full schools’ resumption even though the federal government had continued to engage stakeholders.
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Mr Nwajiuba said this during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.
The minister, however, expressed optimism that the date for resumption was around the corner, adding, that ”we are not going to be brandishing dates.”
Nigerian schools have been shut for over three months to prevent further spread of COVID-19 which has caused the death of over 1,000 people in the West African country.
However, students in exit classes, mainly JSS3 and SSS3 students, resumed earlier this month to commence their final examinations.
Many Nigerians had felt that the resumption of exit students was an indication that other students would resume soon.
Mr Nwajiuba’s comments, however, show that while the government is engaging stakeholders on how to resume schools, no date has been fixed yet.
On Monday, the minister also spoke on the situation of tertiary institutions.
He disclosed that he and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, met some stakeholders in tertiary education earlier in the day on the issue of resumption.
Mr Nwajiuba said about 78 privately-owned universities were insisting that they were ready for resumption while the response from government-owned universities was still “50-50.”
He said that after aggregating opinions, he would return to the PTF to review the situation and then go ahead to make a pronouncement.
The minister urged students of tertiary institutions protesting the continued closure of their schools to be a little more patient with the government.
However, even if the government allows tertiary institutions to resume, most public universities will not due to an ongoing nationwide strike by university lecturers, ASUU, over welfare demands.