International

Nigeria discusses reopening of schools

The federal government has disclosed that schools nationwide will soon be opened without giving any particular date when the reopening of schools will take place.

The minister of state for education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, made the disclosure on Thursday, May 21, during the briefing by the presidential task force on COVID-19, Tribune reports.

He, however, said that the reopening of schools will not be done in two weeks as being speculated in some quarters.

The minister stated that the schools would be reopened when the safety of the school children could be guaranteed.

He noted that the government was being careful not to endanger the lives of the school children.

Nwajiuba stated that the ministry of education was trying to put measures in place that will ensure the safety of children before the schools are reopened.

The federal government had ordered the indefinite closure of educational institutions nationwide as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development said the list of all participating vendors in the modified School Feeding Programme will be submitted to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Humanitarian Affairs minister, Sadiya Farouq, who said this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 daily news briefing on Friday in Abuja, noted that it was for the purpose of transparency and accountability.

She said the modified school feeding programme was being funded by the federal government, implemented by states and facilitated by the ministry.

The minister said it was targeted at heads of households, guardians and caregivers of the pupils, already benefiting from the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).

She noted that the vendors had been on the programme since inception and that they were not new. She said that the ministry had also invited Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to help with monitoring of events.

In another report, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has described as a misplaced priority the decision by the federal government to continue feeding pupils at home, vowing to stage “a mother of all protest” if the plan is not retraced.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Friday, May 15, Danielson Akpan, NANS president labelled the plan as an attempt to siphon the country’s fund as there are many initiatives government can consider during coronavirus crisis, Tribune reports.

Akpan wondered how the government would justify withdrawing N697 million it proposed to spend daily which literally amounts to N13.5 billion a month.