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Why all schools can't resume September 22 'Ekiti govt '...transition committee begins handover process

Published by Tribune on Tue, 16 Sep 2014

THERE is nothing sacrosanct about the September 22 resumption date announced by the Federal Government for secondary and primary schools across the country, the Ekiti State government has said.Speaking at a stakeholders' meeting in Ado Ekiti, on Monday, the government ruled out the possibility of opening its schools to pupils and teachers for the 2013/2014 academic session without assurance that all precautions had been taken to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) into its domain.The deputy governor, Professor Modupe Adelabu, said that a resumption date would be announced for schools in the state after an agreement had been jointly reached by the government and all stakeholders in the education sector.She ruled out the unilateral announcement of a resumption date by the government without the input of teachers, parents and health workers.Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune in her office in Ado-Ekiti, the deputy governor, who doubles as the chairperson of the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), spoke on the need to apply caution, especially at a time the true situation of the spread and containment of the EVD in the country had not been ascertained.She said: 'There are critical stakeholders, such as parents, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), head teachers and medical personnel to the issue and their opinions have to be considered before taking a final decision.'She said a committee set up by the government had started making necessary advocacy visits and creating awareness among the people to ensure that the public was well informed, while arrangement was been made to get necessary medical equipment that would be distributed to schools and designated centres.According to her, it might not be possible for all states to resume on same date, because of the peculiar situations, even as she advised that students, who had been on a long vacation should not be kept at home longer than necessary before the schools were reopened.She noted that it was wiser to prevent the outbreak of the EVD, which she described as pandemic than to manage the multiplier effect of its spread since it would be impossible for any government to establish isolation centres in public schools.'Schools belonging to the Federal Government and the states, where the necessary precautions have been taken can bring back their pupils on September 22, as announced by the government, but it is not compulsory that all schools resume the same date,' the deputy governor said.Meanwhile, The transition committee announced on Sunday by the Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has met with its counterpart inaugurated by the governor-elect, Mr Ayo Fayose, to begin the handover processes in the state.The committee, headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Ganiyu Owolabi and the incoming government's committee, led by Chief Dipo Anisulowo, held their inaugural meeting at the executive council chambers of the Governor's Office and announced that Governor Fayemi had approved that both Owolabi and Anisulowo should serve as co-chairmen of the committee.Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Owolabi noted that the committee was made up of people he described as 'veterans, who had acquired wealth of experience through their service in government presently and in the past.'He said the committee was poised to ensure 'a seamless transition of power expected to climax in the inauguration of the governor-elect on October 16' and added that 'the fusion of the nominees from both sides of the divide into a single committee will give opportunities to clarify issues where necessary rather than resort to falsehood.
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