Members of the House of Representatives have faulted the Federal Government’s decision to allow schools to resume on Monday, January 18, 2021, amid coronavirus second wave in the country.
Federal Government recently reiterated its decision that schools would resume academic activities on Monday.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu said after consultations with relevant stakeholders, it was agreed that public and private schools across the country should reopen.
However, the lower chamber of the national assembly has proposed a postponement of resumption for three months.
They stated that government officials did not consult the relevant committees of the National Assembly, contrary to their claim that all relevant stakeholders were consulted before arriving at January 18, 2021, resumption date.
Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihonvbere made this known during an interview with The Punch on Saturday, January 16.
They did not consult us; at least in my committee, nobody from the ministry spoke to me. I have been in Abuja. And I am not sure that they spoke to any of my members. They just don’t see us as part of the critical stakeholders.
Also, in a statement titled “School resumption: Are we truly prepared?” which he also issued on behalf of his colleagues, Ihonvbere wondered why government officials are rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure children.
The Committee on Basic Education and Services, House of Representatives, has received with concern the decision of the Federal Government to reopen schools on January 18, 2021.
We are particularly concerned that when the infection rates hovered around 500 and under, schools were closed; but now that it hovers well above 1,000 infections daily, schools are being reopened. Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children?
Ihonvbere, therefore, demanded that the school resumption date be postponed for three months to enable the government and schools to put necessary measures in place in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.