The Federal Government on Tuesday directed all public and private primary and secondary schools in the country to remain closed till October 13.
The Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, gave the directive when he briefed journalists after a meeting with Commissioners for Education in Abuja.
“The minister and all commissioners met today, Aug. 26, to discuss issues related to the reopening of schools for the new academic year vis-à-vis the Ebola epidemic issue.
“At the end of the meeting, the following decisions were arrived at as preventive measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students in our schools throughout the federation.
“All primary and secondary schools both public and private are to remain closed until Monday, Oct. 13, 2014, which is the new resumption date for all schools throughout the federation.
“This is to ensure that adequate measures are put in place before the students report back to school,” Mr. Shekarau said.
Mr. Shekarau said the meeting also agreed that all Ministries of Education should immediately organise training for at least two staff in each public and private school.
He said schools must ensure that the training was given by appropriate health personnel on how to handle any suspected case of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD.
He said the training of such staff must be concluded not later than September 15.
The minister also directed all the state ministries to establish a Working and Monitoring Team and also appoint a designated Desk Officer on Ebola.
Mr. Shekarau said the officers must report on daily basis to the commissioners on the situation in the schools not later than Sept. 1.
He also ordered the immediate suspension of ongoing summer classes conducted by some private schools.
According to him, all private primary and secondary schools must comply with the directives, which also apply to Federal Government Colleges.
He urged state governments to support their ministries with all necessary funds to ensure effective implementation of these measures.
Mr. Shekarau said that all tertiary institutions were advised to suspend exchange of staff and students’ programmes, visits, and major international seminars and workshops until further notice.
“They are to monitor movements of foreign students in their campuses and liaise with appropriate government health institutions to organise and ensure effective sensitisation programme for all their staff,” he said.
The minister said that he would be meeting again with all the commissioners on September 23, to review the situation in all states.
He said that appropriate sanctions would be taken against any defaulter of the directives.