COVID-19: No Resumption Date Yet For Schools, Says Bayelsa Ministry Of Education …Warns Private Schools Proprietors, Commences e-Learning

Permanent Secretary Bayelsa state Ministry of Education,comrade Walton Liverpool says no date has been slated for the resumption of schools in the state.

Liverpool hinted The Tide this during an interview held with him in Yenagoa.

According to him,that the Federal Government has slated part reopening of schools for 3rd August is not a yardstick that the state must do so.

He noted that due to the peculiar nature of the state in terms of having more far-flung communities in all the Local Government Areas,the Government is being meticulous in resuming schools without adequate preparations, saying that before doing so the state Government through the Ministry of Education would work out appropriate and sustainable modalities to ensuring that Covid-19 is contained in the Education sector within the requisite National centre for disease control,NCDC stipulated guidelines.

Liverpool restated his commitment towards ensuring an unimpeded school curricular,emphasizing that the Ministry has since introduced various e-learning platforms comprising the social and electronic media to

cushion the learning deficit occasioned by the pandemic.

While reacting to the recent feud between the State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers,NUT and the Academic staff union of secondary schools,ASUSS the Education Permanent Secretary who served as the pioneer state chairman of the NUT berated ASUSS,saying they took the laws in their hands.

He described ASUSS as an association and not a registered trade union,advising that they desist from further parading themselves as such,just as he restated that under his leadership in NUT years ago a similar splinter group sprung up, reassuring however,that there was a solution to the problem which can still be applied today to amicably resolve the lingering issues rather than parade as a splinter group.

“We’ve not taken a date to resume schools in the state.Even though the Federal Government has taken and again reordered,due to our peculiar problems we’ve not slated any date”, he said.

“Before we reopen we would have to provide measures to containing the spread in and amongst our schools”, he added.

“But to bridge the learning vacuum created by

Covid-19 the Education Ministry has commenced e-learning programmes on different social media platforms and on Radio too for schools and students in both primary and secondary schools in the state”, he stated.

“For ASSUS, my advise for them is that they stop parading themselves as a trade union henceforth.They’re an Association under the NUT and not a trade union as they claim. I’ve been the NUT state chairman and I know this very well” he concluded.

Meanwhile in a press statement made available to The Tide by the Ministry,the permanent secretary has warned owners and the management of private schools in the state to desist from resuming schools.

The pioneer State NUT chairman restated that even though the West African Examinations council has fixed 3rd August and 5th September as the date for the commencement and rounding up of the 2020 WASSCE the schools in the state may not resume until the state is certified fit by the NCDC to reopen schools.

In another development it seems not yet Uhuru with the proposed schools reopening date in Nigeria as the Federal Government has again reordered its earlier decision on the resumption

date.

In the same vein there are indications that in consonance with dissenting opinions on a possible resumption date as earlier expressed by some state Governments and stakeholders in the Education sector, the Federal Government may no longer be willing to permit Nigeria’s participation in the regional examinations this year following the resurgence of more cases of the novel Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tide learnt that the Federal Ministry of Education has expressed concerns on the safety of Nigerian students when schools are resumed amidst rising number of the Coronavirus infections in the country.

You would be recalled that penultimate week the Federal Government announced August 3rd as the resumption date of schools in Nigeria, while the West African Examinations council,WAEC also followed suit by giving 3rd  August through 5th September as dates for kick-starting and ending up of this year’s WASSCE.

Inset:comrade Walton Liverpool, PS Bayelsa state Ministry of Education.

By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.

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