Owing to the COVID-19 containment plans and developments, the federal government have directed via a circular by the Director, Directorate of the Executive Secretary’s Office, Chris Maiyaki on Friday, May 8, that all schools should remain closed. This was in response to the fake news being paraded on social medias lately as regards opening of schools. Vice chancellors were also told the situation is being monitored and that any decision reached would be communicated to them via the appropriate channels.
The circular quoted the previous directive of the NUC on March 20, 2020 on approval of the closure of schools. The circular read, “Vice chancellors will please recall that following the ministerial directive of March 19, 2020, the NUC issued two circulars on Friday, March 20, to convey approval for the closure of institutions for a period of one month effective from Monday, March 23.
This was to re-affirm that the directive still continues.
It should also be noted that four days after the closure, the Academic Staff Union of Universities declared a “total and indefinite strike” over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action and over the seemingly never-ending crisis on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System. The union had begun a two-week warning strike on March 9, after which the lecturers embarked on a full strike.
Meanwhile, the government of the Republic of Benin has directed teachers in a statement released on Saturday, 9th May, 2020 to get screened for the coronavirus in a bid to reopen schools. Benin Republic currently have a total of 319 cases (from worldometer), a number relatively small, compared to the total 4399 cases in Nigeria as reported by the NCDC yesterday. Irrespective, the question still remains, “when will things return to normal in our schools again?”