The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has released fresh guidelines for the reopening of schools in Nigeria.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, announced the new guidelines at the bi-weekly briefing of the agency in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the Federal Ministry of Education, the PTF and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) developed the guidelines to ensure schools can reopen, minimise the risk of transmission and continue to operate safely.
He urged schools to adhere strictly to the guidelines.
“Schools and educational bodies that plan to reopen must have detailed communication protocols that include parents, school health teams, school authorities, and local state officials,” he said.
“They must also have a system for providing regular updates to parents, staff and relevant authorities as well as communicate changes to procedures effectively and clearly as well as taking sufficient measures to understand how COVID-19 can spread and how to mitigate transmission in line with official guidelines,” he said.
He said school authorities have the responsibilities to ensure that everyone gaining access to their schools is screened properly, and that “they should wear a mask and sanitise their hands”
He said boarding schools must identify areas for screening and putting positive students aside and “there must be access to running water and handwashing facilities.
“The health staff, particularly in boarding schools, must be trained and provided with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). There must be appropriate waste management systems,” he said.
“Health facilities that are within the schools that serve the schools should have the ability to cater for an outbreak and a response protocol must be in place for these schools for students who test positive. In this regard, it is important to involve their parents and make sure that parents have signed consent forms in advance.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the federal government in July released guidelines ahead of the resumption of schools at every level in the country.
The guidelines for the safe reopening of schools and learning facilities after the coronavirus pandemic defined actions, measures, and requirements needed for resumption.
The 52-page document also showed that where the two-metre rule cannot be reasonably applied, other risk mitigation strategies may be adopted. ”Examples include early years, younger primary school children, and those with additional needs”.
PREMIUM TIMES also reported how the federal government ordered the closure of tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools nationwide following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country in March.
The minister of education, Adamu Adamu, ordered the reopening of all schools in Nigeria from October 12, PREMIUM TIMES reported.
Mr Adamu urged all institutions to adhere to the guidelines for the reopening of schools.