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The federal government has given school proprietors across the country up to July 29 to meet specific guidelines set towards the reopening of schools.

The date for the reopening is to be announced in due course.

The minister of state for education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said this in Abuja on Friday.

The minister said the announcement is coming just as Nigeria settles with four countries on a new date for the suspended West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).

The minister did not mention the four countries.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the federal government released guidelines ahead of the resumption of schools at every level in the country.

The guidelines were for the safe reopening of schools and learning facilities after the COVID-19 pandemic and these outlined actions, measures, and requirements needed for resumption.

The 52-page document containing the guidelines called for a two-meter rule separating each pupil. It stated that where the two-meter rule cannot be reasonably applied, other risk mitigation strategies may be adopted.

New charge

On Friday, Mr Nwajuiba asked school owners to prepare and comply with the guidelines, adding that “schools are to undertake self-assessment and send feedback to state ministries of education, not later than July 29, 2020.”

He said consultations with relevant ‘stakeholders’ would be held to review the situation and decide on a specific date for reopening or otherwise.

“Having taken the painful but necessary decision not to reopen schools without necessary preparations to ensure the safety of students and teachers, the federal ministry of education has continued consultations with stakeholders, and a mechanism to assess and monitor compliance shall be put in place,” he said.

READ ALSO: Group cautions Nigerian govt against reopening of schools

”We have consulted widely with stakeholders in the sector, including commissioners of education in all the states of the federation, the Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria, (APSON), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools,(NAPPS), Provosts of Colleges of Education, Rectors of Polytechnics, vice-chancellors of universities, some state governors, and development partners,” he said.

WASSCE

Speaking on WASSCE, Mr Nwajuiba said, ”the government met with WAEC on Monday and (we) have agreed to further consult with four other countries on a new examination date.”

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the government reversed its earlier announcement on the resumption of schools.

It also said no Nigerian school will participate in the WASSCE earlier scheduled for August 5 to September 5.

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This year’s examination, administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), was postponed indefinitely in April after it was earlier scheduled to commence in May.

It was postponed after schools were shut down across the country in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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