COVID-19: Nigeria Reopens Schools, Relaxes Curfew

The Nigerian Government has okayed the reopening of schools across the country but says states in the country should conduct a risk assessment before calling for resumptions.

The government also relaxed a curfew it placed on movement across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic from 12 midnight to 4am.

Schools in African most populous nation were shut in March. The government had earlier announced the resumption of graduating pupils effective August 4, 2020, to enable them to write this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from August 17, 2020, through September 12, 2020.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, on Thursday, however, said educational institutions should begin the process of working towards a potential reopening.

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Aliyu who made this known during a briefing at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, said the task force recommends a phased return of students to learning centres.

“Educational institutions which include daycare, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions should begin the process of working towards potentially reopening within this phase.

He however strongly recommend that states conduct risk assessment to ensure all schools are at a level of compliance and create a monitoring mechanism to assess, create, and monitor levels of preparedness.

“Meanwhile, all daycare centres and educational institutions are to remain closed to in-classes until this level of risk is assessed. And if there will be opening of schools, it must be staged and preferably carried out in phases to ensure that this does not pose a risk to the general public and in particular to vulnerable groups that might end up getting infected when students going back home.

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As for the curfew, the Nigerian government has now relaxed restrictions on movement from 12 midnight through to 4am.

Aliyu said the curfew does not apply to people on essential services and international travellers that might be returning from overseas.

Nigeria had on May 4, 2020, imposed a nationwide curfew from 6pm to 8am. It later reviewed the timing to between 10pm and 4am on June 1, 2020.

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