There is nothing sacrosanct on the September 22 resumption date announced by the Federal Government for secondary and primary schools across the country, the Ekiti State government said on Monday, 15th September, 2015.
It therefore ruled out the possibility of opening its schools to pupils and teachers for the 2013/2014 academic session without assurance that all precautions have been taken to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) into its domain.
The state Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu, who spoke for the state, said that a resumption date will be announced for schools in the state after an agreement had been jointly reached by the government and all stakeholders in the education sector.
She ruled out the unilateral announcement of a resumption date by the government without the input of teachers, parents and health workers.
Speaking with reporters in her Office in Ado-Ekiti, the Deputy Governor, who doubles as the chairperson of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), spoke of the need to apply caution especially at a time the true situation of the spread and containment of the EVD in the country has not been ascertained.
Her words: “There are critical stakeholders such as the parents, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), head teachers and medical personnel to the issue and their opinions have to be considered before taking a final decision”.
She said a committee set up by the government has started making necessary advocacy visits and creating awareness among the people to ensure that the public is well informed while arrangement is been made to get necessary medical equipments that will be distributed to schools and designated centres.
According to her, it may not be possible for all states to resume on the same date because of the peculiar situations, even as she advised that students who have been on a long vacation should not be kept at home longer than necessary before the schools are reopened.
She noted that it is wiser to prevent the outbreak of the EVD, which she described as pandemic than to manage the multiplier effect of its spread since it will be impossible for any government to establish Isolation Centres in public schools.
“Schools belonging to the Federal Government and the states where the necessary precautions have been taken can bring back their pupils on September 22 as announced by the government but it is not compulsory that all the schools must resume the same date,” the Deputy Governor told reporters.
Mrs. Adelabu informed that stakeholders in the state will meet before Friday, after which a new resumption date will be announced.