FOLLOWING the insistence by the Federal Government, that the September 22 resumption date for primary and secondary schools in the country would not be extended,several State Ministries of Education have expressed readiness for schools to resume, stressing that adequate measures have been put in place to contain any possible outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Diseases, EVD, in schools.
Those that gave assurances of their preparedness were the commissioners for education of Anambra, Edo, Ogun, Rivers, as well as the special adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Information and Strategy.
Speaking to Vanguard, the Edo State Commissioner for Higher Education (Secondary, Tertiary and Technical), Barr. Washington Osifo, who said FG’s directive for schools to resume September 22, has been wholeheartedly accepted by the State government, indicated, “Yes, the September 22 resumption is not a fluke. It is already on ground. Our judgement was based on expert information given us by those saddled with the responsibility of certifying that schools are safe to resume.
We organised training for teachers on September 11, 12 and 13, across the three senatorial districts. This does not only include public school teachers, but also private school teachers and at no cost to them. Although, since the outbreak of the EVD, Edo State has been certified 100 per cent Ebola free, but the reason for the trainings we have embarked upon is not just to contain Ebola, but other contagious diseases that go with improper hygiene common among children.”
Similarly, the Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, affirmed the State’s readiness to tackle the scourge even before the directive by the Minister of Education on September 5. Omenugha said: “Even before the meeting with the Minister of Education, in Abuja, on September 5, Anambra has been proactive in preventing the EVD from gaining entrance into the State. At the moment, we have trained 1, 044 Head teachers of Primary Schools, 21 Education Secretaries, as well as 256 Secondary School principals.
Today (Monday), my ministry is meeting with the Ministry of Health to further train about 5, 000 teachers this weekend. So far, so good, having met severally with relevant stakeholders in the state, to clearly define what they should do ahead of and on resumption, we are indeed ready for the September 22, resumption.”
According to the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Segun Odubela, “We are ready to resume on September 22 as proposed by the Federal Government. The training of teachers on how to curb the spread of Ebola, would commence on Tuesday and end on Thursday, at four centres in the state.”
On her part, the Commissioner for Education, Rivers State, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, said the state commenced training for teachers on Monday. She said: “Today, we started the training for teachers both in public and private schools on the Ebola Virus Disease EVD,” adding that “the training was done in all the senatorial districts of the state.
”In the same vein, the Lagos State government, in a statement, explained its support for the September 22 resumption date announced by the Federal Governments statement, which was signed by by the Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Information and Strategy, Alhaji Lateef Raji, reads: “Concerning the resumption of all public and private nursery, primary and secondary schools for the 2014/2015 session, Lagos State Government supports the September 22, 2014 date, which was announced by the Federal Government after a national consultation on efforts to contain the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria.”