The Taraba State government has asked graduating students across the over 300 secondary schools in the state to resume on August 4.
It explained that this was to enable the students revise for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
The decision to allow the students return to school formed part of the resolutions reached at a meeting of education stakeholders held on Thursday in Jalingo to discuss ways to meet the set standard by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
At the meeting, the stakeholders agreed on August 3 for fumigation of all classes and hostels in the state, with the setting up of a monitoring team to ensure compliance with set standards.
This followed a broadcast by Governor Darius Ishaku on March 24 in which he ordered the shutdown of all schools with a view to curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Four months later, the government convened a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the best ways on how schools would reopen for graduating students to write their examinations.
In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Johannes Jigim, revealed the government has granted express approval for the procurement of personal protective equipment in all schools.
According to him, the meeting had representatives from the primary board, secondary school board, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), as well as directors and permanent secretaries in the State Ministry of Education.
“As much as we love our students, we must equally protect their lives and that of their staff,” Jigim said.
He noted that the governor has directed the Chairman on COVID-19 Technical Committee, Innocent Vakkai, to supply all the needed materials.
The commissioner added that Governor Ishaku also gave approval that all health teachers be trained on the use of thermometers to detect those showing symptoms of COVID-19.
He explained that a monitoring team has been set up to go round the 305 public and private secondary schools to monitor strict compliance with the guidelines.
Speaking about the state’s inability to provide ambulances at all the schools, the commissioner disclosed that general hospitals, primary healthcare clinics, and referral hospitals have been placed on red alert to attend to emergencies.
On the possibility of aiding private school proprietors pay its workers, he stated that they were not part of the state government’s budget.