Rising from a virtual meeting on school reopening and other matters related to education, Commissioners of Education from the 19 Northern States have agreed to participate in the West Africa School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and other examinations, only when it is safe to reopen schools and when coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Education.
The commissioners also commended the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu for postponing school reopening; saying reasons for keeping schools closed was appropriate in ensuring that children remain safe from Coronavirus.
In a communiqué signed by Shehu Usman Muhammed, Commissioner of Education, Kaduna State and Chairman, they call on the minister to coordinate meetings in the education sector to find a common ground, where all stakeholders can agree on safe reopening of schools.
The meeting had in attendance education commissioners from Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Niger, Nassarawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Kogi, Kwara, Katsina, Kano, Borno and Jigawa.
While urging Federal Government to support states in putting in place safety measures for school reopening, as parts of its COVID-19 Social Intervention Project, considering that many states may not have the financial strength to embark on such a huge capital intensive project, the commissioners lauded the ban of Almajiri system by Northern governors.
“States should come up with a legal framework to enforce the ban and carry out massive awareness campaign to enlighten the public and enlist the support of parents and caregivers,” they said.
They resolved that challenges affecting school exchange programme should be addressed by various state governments to ensure high standard of learning in schools.
The communiqué read: “Sports, quiz and debating competition among schools in the region will be reintroduced and other interventions implemented to bring back the lost glory of students exchange programme.
“We resolved that schools should be opened, only when it is safe to do so and when states have complied with the minimum COVID-19 safety protocols, as outlined by the NCDC.
“We will participate in WASSCE and other examinations, only when it is safe to reopen schools and when coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Education.
“States should carry out a holistic assessment of schools to determine their readiness to reopen and submit report to their respective governors for consideration