The Commissioners of Education from the 19 Northern States of Nigeria, have solicited the Federal Government’s intervention towards reopening of schools in their states.
In a statement on Saturday after a meeting of the commissioners in Kaduna to strategise on how best to reopen schools due to the coronavirus pamdemic, Dr. Shehu Usman Muhammed, Commissioner of Education, Kaduna State and Chairman,School Exchange Programme (SEP), said the meeting had in attendance 10 States namely: Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe, Plateau, Niger, Kogi Gombe, Taraba, Nassarawa and Plateau. Others sent their apologies. “Federal Government should, as it did in other sectors, support states in meeting Covid-19 requirements for reopening of schools,” the statement said.
Other recommendations that came out of the meeting included:”The meeting observed some challenges relating to ways and means of communication during this period between States Ministries of Education and Federal Ministry of Education and recommends on more effective channel of communication be established between the FME and the state commissioners of education on policy issues and development in education especially on schools reopening plans.
“States should invest in building the administrative capacities of Principals and teachers by holding in-state workshops and attendance of, Nigerian Institute of Education and Public Administration’s courses and the inclusion of ICT in school administration.
“The observed that most of the SEP schools are over populated and recommends that States Ministry of Education should regulate overpopulated SEP schools to the numbers stipulated in the guidelines establishing the program. This will ensure maintenance of the quality teaching and learning in the schools.
“Commissioners of SEP states to intensify monitoring of SEP and other schools to improve on education delivery in their states.
“Participating states agreed, subject to approval of their respective Governors, to reopen their schools as soon and as much as possible, fully or in phases, before 30 October, 2020. Some of the states have already reopened fully or partially since 14 September, 2020.
“State governments, development partners, parents and organizations are called on to combine effort in provision of Covid-19 prevention facilities in their schools at reopening.
“Federal Government should, as it did in other sectors, support states in meeting Covid-19 requirements for reopening of schools.
“There is the need to engage UBEC in order to develop the relevant regional strategies for integrating children of all almajiri schools into mainstream or blended formal education system.”