Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Sunday directed public primary and secondary schools in the state to start academic activities on October 8.
The schools were scheduled to open on September 22.
Mr. Fashola made the announcement at an interactive session with principals, vice principals, head teachers and teachers in public primary and secondary schools in Lagos.
He directed principals, vice principals, and teachers to reopen schools on September 22 for the distribution and supply of preventive materials against the Ebola Virus Disease in all schools ahead of the new resumption date.
He said that the new date was to allow smooth distribution of all necessary materials to the schools.
“We will use from tomorrow (September 22) as getting ready week.
“My proposal is that tomorrow, the principals, the teachers and the district heads get to the schools and sort out what else is missing.
“We will use from tomorrow through the week, to get the schools ready. This week is getting ready week.
“Academic work I propose, instead of starting and stopping, should start immediately after the Sallah festival, on October 8,” he said.
The governor said he was also scared of the disease just as the teachers were but was determined to overcome it.
He said medical personnel have declared the state safe of Ebola and, therefore, the schools were safe to commence normal academic activities.
“I am not afraid or ashamed to tell you that I was scared of the Ebola disease. I am not ashamed to say it but being afraid does not solve the problem.
“I have a job to do. If the fear overcomes me then I should leave the job, so I do not allow the fear to overcome me.
“The doctors have told us that the schools are safe to reopen, so let us go back to our schools and observe all the preventive measures.
“We have awarded contracts to provide water in about 800 schools, over 200 have been completed,
“Whether there is Ebola or not we must provide water for the schools and make our schools safe for our children,” the governor said.
Mr. Fashola urged the schools to increase hand washing and personal hygiene exercise among the pupils and students to prevent the disease.
The Lagos State Chairman of the National Union of Teachers, Segun Raheem, commended the state government for postponing the resumption date.
Mr. Raheem told journalists, after the programme, that the governor’s decision was to ensure that the schools were ready to receive the students.
Earlier, he urged the state government to provide all necessary preventive equipment before the schools reopen.
He said that most schools in the state did not have potable water supply, while other preventive materials have not been provided ahead of the September 22 resumption date.
The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Public Health, Yewande Adeshina, said that thermoscans, a scientific instrument used to measure body temperature, have been distributed to 1688 primary and secondary schools.
Ms. Adesina said that 1007 Ebola Focal Officers in public primary schools and 668 Ebola Focal Officers in public secondary schools had been sensitised on the management of the disease.
She explained that the officers would be responsible for surveillance and monitoring of the disease in each school and interface between schools and Primary Healthcare Centres in the area if there be need.
She assured the principals and teachers that it was safe to reopen the schools.