The Minister of State for education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has condemned school resumption in Oyo state.
The minister speaking at the PTF meeting on Monday said the ministry of education did not give Oyo state any guideline to reopen schools.
“For you to decide to unleash this in the public in the face of the pandemic is to be insensitive. Nigeria has not gotten to optimal testing, so we cannot forecast where this epidemic is most position at. The least we can do is to keep our children under lock and key until we are sure it’s safe”
“When you say the education sector opens, you are opening transporters, food sellers, etc. the country cannot afford it now”
” Oyo state has a Governor and under our constitution, governors are responsible for their states. The primary purpose of government is the security of its citizens. Public health is key and primary and that is why we are extremely cautious in making any pronouncement about this because the education sector owns the largest number of infrastructures in the country.
Nwajiuba who noted that the country has about 138,000 primary schools around the country, said there are nearly 600 different kinds of institutions awarding certificates in Nigeria.
” At every given time in Nigeria, there are nearly 30 million people attending one form of formal education or the other (about the largest in sub-Sahara African)
Responding to the question on non- payment of salaries by private institutions, the Minister appealed to private schools to approach the Central Bank of Nigerian, CBN for loan to aid them pay teachers’ salaries.
“I can’t really tell them what to do but I have advised a couple of private institutions to approach the Central Bank of Nigerian under the scheme of medium-scale enterprises.
“Some schools can’t afford to pay teachers but you can have salaries support loans which you can use to manage over the period.”
Also speaking on WAEC and NECO examinations, he appealed to parents to be patient as examination dates would soon be decided:
“On examination date we have finished meeting with WAEC they are communicating in Gambia at the moment. When we get a feedback from them, we will communicate with you.”
“We are struggling to find how we can bring the final year children briefly to come to revision ahead of whenever these exams are agreed.”
He however assured that government would do this with utmost care and “only in places where we can institutionalise and be able to use the facilities to be able to help these children” he said.