COVID-19: Abia releases guidelines for school resumption

Following the recommendations of education stakeholders in Abia state to resume academic activities on August 10, 2020, the state government has listed guidelines for the schools to implement before opening their gates to students. Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, had directed primary and secondary schools in the state to reopen on 4th August 2020, and that teachers, relevant education and health authorities put in place necessary measures before the resumption of full academic activities. Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, who disclosed this in a statement, explained that the State ministry of health, in conjunction with the ministry of education, would commence testing for Covid-19 of all headteachers, teachers and others who are part of the management of examinations in public and private schools in the state. Okiyi Kalu also stated that only those who test negative to COVID-19 will be allowed to continue attending classes with students and others involved in the management of the examinations. He warned that schools that fail to comply with the COVID-19 protocols risk immediate closure.

In his words; “The State ministry of health, in partnership with the ministry of education, will deliver pocket and table hand sanitizers, face masks and digital thermometers provided by the state government to all public schools in the state for free distribution to students, teachers and examination supervisors. “Headteachers must provide handwashing stations in the schools and ensure that sick bays and isolation areas are put in place before the resumption of students. “Headteachers and others are expected to monitor the clearing, cleaning and fumigation exercises in the various schools and send reports through the relevant education secretaries in the 17 LGAs to the Commissioner for Education.” While emphasising the governor’s directive to all private primary and secondary schools to ensure compliance with the resumption regulations, Okiyi–Kalu added that the state ministry of health would conclude the training of all teachers on COVID-19 protocols as well as set up relevant monitoring teams to ensure full compliance.

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