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Eleven states resume today after forced Ebola holidays

Minister-of-Education-Mr.-Ibrahim-Shekarau

Minister-of-Education-Mr.-Ibrahim-Shekarau

Schools in at least 11 states of the
country are set to resume a
new academic session today (Wednesday) after a
forced holiday occasioned by the Ebola Virus
Disease outbreak.
The states which had earlier shunned the
September 22 resumption date announced by the
Federal Government, picked October 8, as a more
realistic resumption date to enable them to put in
place the logistics required to prevent the spread
of the Ebola Virus Disease and also observe the
Eid-el-Kabir holiday.
Some of the states commencing academic
activities today include Rivers, Benue, Lagos, Ekiti
and Oyo.
Others are Kano, Kogi, Akwa -Ibom, Ebonyi, Ogun
and Kwara states.
However, some states such as Niger, Zamfara and
Adamawa, will resume on October 13.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent
on Tuesday, the National President, Nigerian
Union of Teachers, Mr. Michael Alogba, said the
resumption was not nationwide as schools in
some states had earlier resumed classes, having
received the preventive equipment from the
government.
The NUT had ordered its members to stay at
home until the materials, such as digital non-
contact thermometers, soaps, sanitisers and
basins were provided.
“I’m sorry I don’t have a comprehensive list right
now. But I know Lagos and Ogun states are
resuming tomorrow. Our directive was that state
wings of NUT should monitor the degree of
compliance with the provision of safety measures
and formally notify us. But the resumption
tomorrow (Wednesday) is not nationwide. Some
have resumed earlier. Many of them have
reported total compliance to us and they include
Lagos, Ogun, Rivers and Ebonyi states,” he said.
Asked what lessons were learnt with the Ebola
Virus Disease scare, Alogba said that the disease
had revealed the underbelly of the education
sector.
“It has exposed the deplorable state of hygiene in
our schools. Ordinarily, we don’t need to cry to
the high heavens before we could have water in
our schools. But the EVD has exposed our
shortcomings. Let everybody begins to do what is
right. Government should know that it is
accountable to the people,’’ he added.
However, the fate of pupils attending Federal
Government colleges still hangs in the balance.
Alogba, who admitted issues in the unity schools
said, “The problems in the Federal Government
colleges are multi-dimensional. Aside from the
Ebola-imposed holiday, there are other issues
with the members of staff. As long as those
problems persist, the Federal Government
colleges will continue to remain under lock and
key.’’
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria
had last month ordered its members to go on
strike over the inability of the Federal
Government to pay their promotion arrears from
2007 to 2010.
In a statement, the ASCSN Secretary-General, Mr.
Alade Lawal, said, “By this decision, the 104
Federal Unity Colleges will not re-open for the
next academic session scheduled to begin on
September 22. Records available to us indicate
that the Federal Ministry of Education had
collected the money meant for the settlement of
these arrears from the Federal Ministry of
Finance,’’ he said.

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