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COVID-19: Interstate ban on movement poses challenge to reopening of schools – Minister

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Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has disclosed that schools in Nigeria will be reopened if the interstate travel ban as a result of COVID-19 has ended.

Speaking at the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday, the Minister cleared rumours making the rounds that schools will be opened on July 20, insisting that the date for reopening of educational institutions in Nigeria has not been published yet.

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He said Federal Government will not endanger lives of Nigerian children by opening schools arbitrarily.

The Minister posited: “We want to open when it is safe to do so. We have heard about neighbouring countries that opened and shut. We have heard about cases spiking with children getting into school. Of all the things I will like to do, I will not like to experiment with your children.

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“We want a situation where once we are sure it is safe, we can then take them into school.

“I have just finished a meeting with the representatives of WAEC and NABTEB and I understand how that worries our parents at the moment and how anxious our children are to know what next.

“As soon as those in charge of the blockade lift it because there is no way we can open our schools if teachers can’t come. So, we are looking at somewhere after the interstate lockdown is lifted. Because we will need that kind of openness for the children to move.”

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All schools in Nigeria were shut in March due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.

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