Ebola: Nigeria Govt directs schools to remain closed

Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau

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.



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  • Okache

    Precautionary move I will say.

  • How Manage

    Rubbish! Why dont you write a longwinded article about how non indigenes are treated in aba, enugu, onitsha and umuahia to show us all just how liberal and open minded you are. For the records, the people who came into lagos from barzil had yoruba roots so were coming HOME

  • Interesting thought that makes a good read. I hope this campaign has just begun till the needed action is taken by the government, especially as the new one is coming aboard now. It’s a coincidence as I am currently writing on a similar issue. We shall jointly forge ahead. Thanks.

  • D.A

    A lot of ignorance pervades articles written by people these days. Indigene /settler dichotomy is only relevant in very few instances in modern Nigeria. It relates to the application of federal character when applying for federal government jobs/ access to federal government run institutions (educational that is) / recruitment into federal government parastatals and eligibility for state run scholarships. That is it. Otherwise, there is no impediment based on being an indigene when considering running for elections, seeking work in the private sector and so one. The key behind federal character based on indigeneship, is to ensure that all Nigeria’s constituent tribes are fully reflected in Nigeria’s federal government and its institutions. It is meant to ensure that no tribe completely monopolizes all jobs in federal government establishments or in federal govt run institutions of learning.

    The writer is completely wrong about the history of Lagos. The Kings of Lagos state are all Yoruba and Lagosians are indigenes of Lagos. Overtime, Lagosian had been applied more liberally by non-indigenes. But that does not mean it is accepted by true Lagosians.

    The igbo mantra appears to be what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine. The writer will be best advised to start his great ideals from the SE. Charity after all begins at home!

  • Sanmi Falae

    Much as it is humbling for outsiders (settlers, immigrants, naturalized citizens, etc) to want to share, for example, Yoruba ethnicity, the fact is that they cannot because it is impossible. An indigene by definition is
    native born; whereas co-opted groups like settlers and immigrants, are not. Thus ethnicity assumes common or shared descent or ancestry. For example the Yorubas have a common ancestry (BLOODLINE or DNA) in Oduduwa and therefore common kinship – a biological and descent unity that only the Yorubas can possibly have but not any other ethnic groups or outsiders.

    Another subtle but ultimate ethnic boundary marker is shared language. Hence according to Linguists, no matter how proficient a settler or immigrant is in their second language or again for example Yoruba, they can never attain native standard communicative proficiency, particularly in Pragmatics (in Yoruba). Perhaps hence the joke that the English would buy and sell you even while you speak his language and are listening

    Furthermore, my Ethnicity is my intellectual history and civilization; natural identity and unique origin or heritage that I share only with similarly clearly defined and identifiable ethnic group universally, territorially, culturally, historically, etc known as the Yorubas. Therefore it is impossible for an Igbo, Hausa, Zulu, English, Scottish, etc or members of other ethnicities ethnic, native, or indigenous Yoruba. In other words, Igbos, Hausas, and Yorubas do not and can never have shared or common ethnicity but NATIONALITY. In that context, Igbos will always be settlers in any part of the SW – and that by virtue of our common or shared Nationality or Citizenship of Nigeria.

    So our Founding Fathers got it absolutely right by including and retaining ‘state of origin’ in our constitution. And it is in our National interest it remains that way; not least because many criminals the world over
    (Australia, Africa, East/Western Europe) have abused the reputation of Nigeria as a seat of corruption and fraud to perpetrate their criminality, as ‘Nigerian citizens’. This is particularly common with Ghanaians.

    It is however intriguing that only Igbos – in the main- are happy to choose to throw away their ethnicity. Even when your ethnicity maximises ENJOYMENT of your nationality even outside your own country? I clearly do not want my Yoruba ethnic identity to be lost, usurped, or sacrificed to my nationality. Indeed I, like most people in the rest of the world, would be incensed by other people defining, associating, or confusing my
    ethnicity with any other. Because my ethnicity is the totality and genesis or beginning of my being or existence. Who are you to want to wipe that off!!? There is a school of thought that says more than anything else, it is ‘ethnic pride’ that made Scotland wanted to separate from the United Kingdom. That is how
    seriously people all over the world take their ethnicity (or tribe, in colloquial).