By Babalola Seyi
The Federal Government has presented proposed guidelines for the reopening of schools across the country to the National Assembly.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba made the presentation on Tuesday during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education.
According to the reports, he intimated the lawmakers of the ministry’s plans for students to resume across the country.
The FG had in March shut schools across the Federation as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.
At the presentation today, the minister said , “In the document provided, we have suggested how we can move our education sector forward during this pandemic.
“We don’t want to make it known at this time so that some people will not take our proposed guidelines for school reopening .
“Even if the Senate has not called us, we would have come to you to discuss with you because we have already discussed with the House of Representatives.
“The documents were presented to you so that you can criticise and make inputs as major stakeholders.”
Vice- Chairperson of the Committee, Akon Eyakenyi, who presided over the meeting, expressed fears that the academic calendar could be distorted in public schools where no visible arrangement was being made to teach pupils and students at home, unlike their private school counterparts.
Eyakenyi said, “Even when the students in the cities have access to education programmes on radio and television, what of those in the villages? What do we do so that we don’t shut them out?
“If the government can give guidelines for the reopening of churches and mosques, stakeholders in the education sector could also hold a meeting with the government to agree on guidelines for school reopening .
“All we need to do is to come up with measures that would ensure the safety of students and teachers.
“We can design a plan that would ensure that not all the students resume at the same time . We could probably start with the exit classes.
“We could have the number of students that would go to school for both morning and afternoon sessions.
“We have to be innovative in our approach to save our educational sector in this country because nobody knows how long the virus will be with us . ”