Lagos and Ogun states have shifted schools’ resumption date to October 8.
Ekiti has also shifted its resumption date without announcing any date, while Oyo and Osun schools will resume on October 6.
They all said the shift was to allow the state governments further put in place all necessary precautionary measures against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD).
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State directed that all learning and teaching activities in Lagos schools be suspended until Wednesday, October 8, 2014 for the next academic session.
Governor Fashola gave the directive on Sunday in Lagos at an interactive session with principals, vice principals, head teachers and assistant head teachers of public secondary and primary schools in the state.
He noted that the additional two weeks of holiday will allow the state government to further put in place all necessary precautionary measures against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Lagos State schools.
Fashola, who commended the concern, commitment and dedication of Lagos teachers to their work and concern against the spread of the EVD, explained that there are no sides to the issue of containing the spread of the virus in the state as both the government and the teachers are on the same side.
According to him, “Let me assure you that there are no divisions or sides to the issue at hand. All of us i.e. government and you teachers are on the same side, the side of safety and that is why I commend you for your concern for safety. The biggest fear I have every day is that nothing must happen to anyone of you.”
He explained that all public schools in the state will be connected to the Lagos State Water Corporation in order to ensure that they have potable water in the schools and that each floor of public schools have hand washing bucket in order to ensure effective hand washing among the students and pupils of public schools.
Earlier, Adesegun Raheem, the state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), commended the state government for controlling and combating the virus, adding that if other countries have shown the same commitment and dedication shown by the state government in the fight against the virus the issue would have been a thing of the past now.
Taiwo Adeoluwa, secretary to the Ogun State government, while speaking with journalists said that due to perceived non-compliance by some schools with regard to measures against Ebola spread, government in conjunction with stakeholders had to shift resumption date to Wednesday, October 8.
Adeoluwa said that government and stakeholders in the state education sector, including Nigeria Union of Teachers, Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Parent-Teacher Association, among others, were forced to “shift the school resumption to ensure that all private and public schools in the state are adequately equipped with necessary gadgets.”
Olalekan Alli, secretary to Oyo State government, in a statement said that the resumption date for all public and private schools in the state had been shifted to Monday, October 6, saying that government had made adequate preparations for the resumption of schools.
Sunday Akere, Osun State commissioner for information and strategy, also said that schools in the state would resume on October 6 to enable government procure and supply needed materials to prevent Ebola in schools.
He said adequate protective and preventive measures should be taken before the resumption of schools.
Olayinka Oyebode, chief press secretary to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, said that no time has been fixed for schools’ resumption in the state, saying efforts are ongoing to procure and train teachers and school owners on the usage of preventive and protective gadgets against Ebola virus disease (EVD).
Speaking with BusinessDay on Sunday, Oyebode said that training will start today (Monday) on the usage of clinical gadgets procured against the deadly virus and will last for a week, adding that the government would also begin evaluation and monitoring across all the primary and secondary schools both private and public.
However, Ondo State government said it will abide by Federal Government’s directive on resumption of schools scheduled for today.
According to Kayode Akinmade, the state’s commissioner for information, government has made necessary provision for the safe return of pupils and students to their schools, adding that necessary steps have been taken to address the current challenges resulting from the fear of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
KELECHI EWUZIE & RAZAQ AYINLA