Covid-19: Oyo Govt re-adjust school resumption date

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Teachers to resume June 29, students July 6

FG condemns state’s earlier insistence on resumption

‘We’ve spent N2.7b on COVID-19, expects N100m from NCDC’

The Oyo State Government Tuesday disclosed that it has fixed a new date for students to return to classes as the state Covid-19 Taskforce modified the resumption date for primary six, Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3 students in the state.

The Oyo State COVID-19 taskforce yesterday disclosed that the state government had re-adjusted the resumption date for students in the state.

The task force, which rose from a two-and-a-half-hours meeting on Monday, reviewed the state of preparedness of the schools ahead of the planned resumption.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the Commissioner for Education, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, and experts from the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) have been going round the schools to determine compliance with the Covid-19 prevention protocols put in place by the schools.

The statement added that the team has since discovered that a space of one week was needed to enable the schools test run the facilities, especially the hand washing points and the security measures.

The statement read in part: “By the new arrangement, teachers are to resume to the schools on Monday, June 29, 2020, while students in critical classes including Primary 6, JSS3 and SS3 will resume a week later on July 6, 2020.

“As of Monday, June 22, no fewer than 372 Heads of Schools have been trained by the EOC on the management of the Covid-19 containment procedures, while each of the schools is to appoint an Incident Manager, who will ensure compliance with the approved Covid-19 protocol.

“Each student is expected to wear face masks, while the schools are to prepare well laid out hand washing spots to guarantee regular washing of hands by the students and teachers.

“The Task Force also resolved that by July 15, the state government would have reviewed the situation with the schools and come to a conclusion whether the remaining classes would be able to resume or whether the students would have to wait to resume the new session in September 2020.”

The statement also added that the community testing embarked upon by the state government has ensured that close to 8,000 tests have been conducted on residents.

The community testing is currently going on in 10 locations across the state, while testing would be regularly conducted from the secondary health centres located in the seven administrative zones of the state after the ongoing massive community testing exercise.

The taskforce urged residents of the state to remain calm and to continue to observe the Covid-19 precautionary guidelines, as according to it, the rising number of positive cases in the state has to do with the ongoing massive community testing.

“The treatment protocols already put in place by our medical experts have ensured that those infected are being discharged in record time,” the statement stated.

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Education had earlier raised the alarm over the decision of the Oyo State government to reopen its primary and secondary schools.

Minister of State for Education, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who expressed the concern while briefing members of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education on his ministry’s plans for pupils who had been forced to stay at home on account of the COVID-19, said: “Why is Oyo State government, which is currently battling with an increase case of coronavirus, eager to open the gates of its schools when its neighbouring states are employing caution.”

The minister spoke while reacting to a question from the representative of Oyo South, Lekan Balogun, who wanted to know the views of the Federal Government on the decision of his state to reopen the schools.

However, the Oyo State government yesterday said that it had expended a little above N2.7 billion so far in its fight against coronavirus in the state.The state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, who disclosed this shortly after the weekly State Executive Council meeting in Ibadan, said the total donation, including cash and material items, was N1.177 billion while total cash received as donations into the state COVID-19 endowment fund stands at N378 million, adding that the total amount expended on palliative sits at N900 million.

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