COVID-19: Akwa Ibom government warns against re-opening of schools

Akwa Ibom state government has warned that any private school in the state that reopened for the 3rd term 2019/2020 school year either in schools environment or online before it authorizes that will have its licence withdrawn and prosecuted.

The Commissioner for Education, Professor Nse Essien who gave the warning Monday during interactive session of Akwa Ibom State Education Think-tank Committee with Education Stakeholders in the state stressed that it would announce the resumption of both public and private schools in the state when it is convinced of safety of the children.

Essien disclosed that the ongoing School-on-Radio programme for Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary 3 in the state was put in place to help the students prepare for their external examination, adding that government has also commenced the School-Radio programme for the primary schools this week.

He added that later in the week, a special website where all the lessons so far delivered on radio would be hosted to enable students to go back, revise and download both audio and lecture notes in lessons already delivered.

His words, “No School, both public and private is authorized to start the 3rd term 2019/2020 school year, either in Schools environment or online. Resumption of Schools for the school year will be announced when government is convinced that our children will be safe in Schools.

” I have been reliably informed that some private schools have already started the 3rd term online and have asked parents and guardians to pay fees and purchase digital gadgets for their wards. This should be discontinued. Any School that goes contrary to this instruction will have its licence withdrawn and will be prosecuted.

“We, however, encourage our schools to start online revision classes with their students who are still at home. This should be optional and should attract no fees. Parents are already overburdened by severe economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown”.

Professor Essien, however, solicited continued commitment of the state Education Think-tank Committee in order to realize its purpose of re-engineering the education system, adding, “we must reinvent Akwa Ibom to be an active participant in the coming digital revolution through quality education and innovations.

“Our education system must go through thorough transformation to meet the demand of the future. Furthermore, post-COVID-19 education will be quite different from what it used to be”

In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Professor Hilary Inyang assured that with the commitment of all the stakeholders the project of developing and launching Akwa Ibom strategic Education roadmap would be successfully achieved.

“The governor has said that solid education foundation will be one of the legacies he will be leaving behind and that is why we are having this ten years (2020-2030) roadmap when significant development will be made”, he stressed.

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