The Federal Government has approved the full reopening of the 104 Unity Colleges nationwide, effective October 12.
Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, who made the announcement while addressing journalists in Abuja, said the decision was reached after due consultation with the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other relevant stakeholders.
Adamu advised states and private school owners to work out modalities for the opening of schools under their purview.
A nationwide closure of schools was effected in March to check the spread of COVID-19.
Adamu said the Federal Government was convinced that the situation was now safe enough to allow the schools to reopen.
He said modalities for resumption had been sent to government-owned institutions.
He added that state and private schools were at liberty to reopen based on guidelines developed for the safe reopening of schools. He urged schools to abide by the COVID-19 protocol developed to curtail the spread of the virus and threatened to shut down institutions that fail to obey the protocols.
The minister disclosed that following earlier reopening of schools for exit classes to take their National Examinations in all 104 Unity Colleges, there had not been a single case of COVlD-l9 infection so far, adding that isolated cases in other schools were minimal.
“It is gratifying to note that on the whole, there has not been a single fatality amongst the exiting students. You may also have noticed that the infection curve nationwide has flattened considerably.
“In July 2020 when I stated that we will not reopen schools until the infection curve flattens, the country was recording an average of 400 infections daily. By the end of July and August, the infection rate peaked at an average of 700 cases daily. Since the beginning of September 2020, we have witnessed a considerable decline in the rate of infections, with an average of 200 cases recorded daily.
“Consequently, with the level of preparations put to test and the flattening of the infection curve, we have come to the conclusion that we have to review our earlier decision, especially against the realization that COVlD-l9 has come to stay and that we have to live with it.”