10 September 2014

Lawmakers To Re-examine Schools' Resumption Date

If latest news are to be believed, then academic activities may not resume in both private and public schools in Nigeria in the month of September.

This is based upon reports that the House of Representatives has asked its Committee on Education to take another look at the resumption date announced for private and public schools in the country.

According to a report published by Thisday online, the decision of the lawmakers is necessitated by growing concerns among the public, especially parents and guardians of students, over the recent decision by the education authorities to reopen schools for the 2014/2015 academic session on Monday, September 22, 2014 despite the threat of the Ebola Virus Disease which has killed seven people in Nigeria.

It would be recalled that the Education Minister, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, had announced a postponement of the resumption date of schools from September to October 13, in other to allow the health authorities enough time to ensure the containment of the disease.

However, following private school owners opposition to the postponement of the resumption date, the Federal Ministry of Education brought forward the date for schools to reopen to September 22, after a meeting with stakeholders in the sector.

While answering questions from newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, 9 September, 2014, the Deputy Chairman of Media and Public Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, stated that the House leadership has resolved to mandate its Committee on Education to take another look at the resumption date set.

Ogene added that the latest move is “in the overall interest of the pupils and students, parents, guardians and the general well-being of the entire country”.

“You will recall that upon the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola virus in Nigeria, the House Committee on Health rose up to the occasion by interfacing with the health authorities, the result of which is the positive containment efforts and call-off of the strike by doctors in the country,” the lawmaker said.

The deputy spokesman of the House said given the reality that some persons are still under surveillance, and the likelihood of having other cases, there was the need to put the safety of the children and that of the entire country into consideration, in arriving at when best to reopen schools nationwide.

The Ebola virus disease has killed no less than seven persons in Nigeria, while 19 other people tested positive for the dreaded disease are still being treated in Lagos and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

No vaccine has been approved as cure for the deadly disease yet though some Canadian researchers announced some weeks ago that a drug has passed first test of becoming a cure for Ebola after it was tested on monkeys with the virus.

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