The Federal Government, on Wednesday, insisted that its decision not to allow the reopening of schools because of the coronavirus pandemic remains unchanged as it maintains that it is not confident about the safety of students at this time.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja, Minister of State for Education, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the position earlier enunciated by Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on the matter remains unchanged.
Adamu last week announced that Nigerian schools would remain shut and secondary final year students would not write the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) until the Ministry considers it safe for such to happen.
When questioned on the issue, Nwajiuba said: “We are still meeting with parents over the decision of the Ministry. What the Minister said reflects the true position of the Ministry; we are not confident yet that everywhere is safe, the numbers from the NCDC are still alarming and we have put this before parents and all the stakeholders in the Education ecosystem, we are still meeting with them. In fact, there’s a stakeholders’ meeting convened for Monday.
“WAEC on its own part is also negotiating with other West African countries to look at possible shift in date. Once they are through with that meeting and hopefully when we are through with the consultation with stakeholders, if there’s any change in the Ministry’s position, we will communicate, but as it stands, the position of the Honourable Minister, as communicated to you last week, remains the position of the Ministry until further evidence to the contrary or further agreements that may alter those arise.”
Meanwhile, the Minister said his the FEC approved a memorandum presented by his Ministry for a contract worth N136 million, for the procurement of computers and seats for theatres in auditoriums at the University of Benin.
He said the contract would be funded by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
He said: “We submitted a memo on behalf of the University of Benin, for the procurement and installation of theatre seats and computers for work in the auditorium of the University of Benin.
“The project is being funded by the 2019 Tertiary Education funds allocated to the school in the sum of N136 million and the contract was approved by FEC as proposed by the University of Benin and they will now proceed with the procurement.