The Federal Government has advised the state governments not to aggravate the COVID-19 crisis by reopening of schools because of pressure from the children and parents.
Minister of State for Education, Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who spoke on Monday while reacting to questions at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, also said the Federal Ministry of Education did not give Oyo State any guidance to reopen schools.
Nwajiuba said he was particularly concerned about the spike in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oyo State, saying it was Ogun State that was under lockdown that was actually the concern of the government.
He insisted that the education sector own the largest number of infrastructure in the country, with 138,000 primary schools around the country.
“If we just reopen that alone, there are nearly 600 all kinds of institutions awarding certificates around Nigeria and at any giving time in Nigeria, there are nearly 30 million people attending one form of formal education or the other. That is about the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. For you to unleash this number to the public in the face of the pandemic will be very insensitive, ” he said.
The Minister noted that Nigeria has not even gotten into optimal testing and could not even forecast the hazard the pandemic is most position at, saying the least government could do was to keep the children he described as the most pride and future of Nigeria under lock and key.
He added that when the government was sure to release them, it would gladly do so.