Govt to decontaminate schools before resumption

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Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's president
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The Federal Government has disclosed plans to decontaminate schools across the country before they reopen for operations.

The decontamination would focus on the school environments, hostels and other places.

President Muhammadu Buhari during his last broadcast had said that from 4th May, there would be a phased easing of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and FCT including 8pm to 6am daily curfew.

The easing of the lockdown, however, did not include the reopening of schools, places of worship and other places with the likelihood of uncontrolled population.

Pending the reopening of schools, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 urged the schools to continue e-learning and virtual teaching till further review.

Speaking on Monday in Abuja during the daily briefing by members of the PTF on COVID-19, the Minister of Environment, Muhammad Abubakar, said his ministry would work with the ministry of education to get data of schools to ease the process of the decontamination.

He said, “We are initiating a programme of decontaminating and disinfecting our schools before they open because subsequently in the phases, I believe we will get to that point where we will starting opening schools.

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”We will be liaising with the federal ministry of education to make sure that we have the needed data to map out the decontamination exercise. We will focus on their school environment and hostels.”

The minister also hinted that public spaces and offices in Ogun, Lagos and FCT were decontaminated before they were reopened on yesterday for business.

He said, “We decontaminated streets both commercial and residential areas, motor parks, train stations and all that. They have been decontaminated and disinfected. This is something that is standard as seen in other developed countries and we are doing the same thing here.”

JAMB to disinfect offices too

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has engaged the services of experts to disinfect the board’s headquarters in Abuja, 11 zonal and 36 state offices.

JAMB in its weekly bulletin released on Monday said the disinfection was necessary to protect its workers who would be resuming to the office after the COVID-19 break.

The examination body also directed its workers across the country to observe social distancing and compulsory wearing of face masks.

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The disinfection was carried out by a team from the Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria, Abuja.

Recall that the board had on Tuesday, March 24, announced the closure of its offices nationwide due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, urging candidates and the general public with enquiries and complaints to visit its online platforms.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, had announced this in Abuja, noting that the board had upgraded its online ticketing system to be able to answer complaints, particularly on the just concluded 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination.

The UTME which was conducted from March 14 to March 22, had over 1.9million candidates registered for the examination across the 666 Computer-Based Test centres.

The board in its bulletin obtained on Monday noted that ahead of its resumption in line with the Federal Government’s directive, it had engaged the services of experts to disinfect its offices nationwide.

It said, “The registrar has briefed the management that the Head of Service of the Federation had directed that as part of the phased and gradual easing of the lockdown measures occasioned by COVID-19, staff on Grade Level 14 and above and those on essential services are to resume work with effect from May 4.

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“He informed participants that the services of experts had been secured to decontaminate the various offices. All stakeholders are advised to continue to make use of the online platforms of the board to access services as only a few numbers of candidates would be physically attended to for services requiring biometric verification.

“The decontamination exercise took place after the virtual meeting under the supervision of the registrar. The decontamination exercise was replicated at its state and zonal offices nationwide on Sunday.

“The leader of the team from EHORECON, Damian Mgbaramuko, said the exercise went well and it was commendable for the safety of the workers ahead of resumption.”

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