While United States, European Countries and many Asian countries have shut schools to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus, the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) on Sunday said schools in Nigeria will remain open, adding that the virus is being contained.
Asked if the Federal Government plans to close schools to mitigate the possible spread of the virus, the Permanent Secretary (FME) Sonnie Ochono, noted that the situation was being monitored.
In response to The Nation’s request, Ochonq said: “We are monitoring the situation closely. Students are being taught to wash hands regularly, avoid triggers and touching etc.”The index case has recovered and is now negative. The second case proved negative.”
However, the Covid-19 Guidance Control for Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released March 5, 2020, noted that closure of schools or nan on public events is not necessary for now.
Nevertheless, the document advised schools to provide water and soap and enlighten teachers and learners to practice good hygiene.
The document states:
“The most important advice is for all schools to encourage their students to maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene to remain safe.
“School proprietors, headmasters and headmistresses must ensure that students have access to clean water and soap at all times while on the school premises.
“The best way for schools to avoid COVID-19 infection is to; Ensure students and teachers wash their hands frequently; Show students how to cough or sneeze into a tissue, or to cough into their elbow if they cannot get tissue; Clean and disinfect their premises often; Encourage sick students and teachers to stay home
“As of today (05/03/20), it is not necessary to close schools or to cancel large gatherings.”
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On its part, the Lagos State Ministry of Education has produced video and audio clips to spread awareness about preventing the spread of the virus among school communities.
The video features the Education Commissioner, Mrs Folasade AAdefisayo, admonishing high school pupils to wash their hands regularly while demonstrating how it should be done.