Parents and Guardians of students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Ogun State heaved a sigh of relief as the state government on Monday announced that as from Monday 21st September, 2020 all these tiers of education would reopen.
The Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who had earlier stated last week that the state was not in a hurry to reopen its schools, made a U-turn through a press statement issued through his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin.
He, however, announced a staggered school hours for the primary and secondary schools, in order to achieve physical distancing among the students.
The Governor stated that the reopening signalled the commencement of the first term of 2020/2021 session, which would be an addition to the earlier resumption of students in SSS3 who are currently writing the West African School Certificate Examination.
Governo Abiodun said this second phase of the reopening of schools was extended to all classes in primary and secondary schools, Technical and Vocational Colleges, and tertiary Institutions.
However, as part of the efforts to meet the COVID-19 guidelines for school operations, the schools hours are staggered as follows for public schools:
• Primary 1 to primary 3 8.00am to 11.00am
• Primary 4 to Primary 6 12.00noon to 3.00pm
• JSS 1 to JSS3 8.00am to 11.00am
• SS1 to SS3 12.00noon to 3.00pm
• Technical and Vocational will operate their normal school hours of 8.00am to 2.00pm
Early Child Care Development and Education classes i.e 3-5 years of age will not be resuming in public schools until the next phase of schools’ reopening.
Private schools are also allowed to reopen but are also expected to take necessary measures to meet the COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing, among other requirements.
Tertiary institutions on their own are allowed to commence reopening from 21st September, 2020 as may be determined by their respective management.
Recall that the government had earlier announced that all students had been given automatic promotion to the next class, including automatic placement for primary 6 students in public primary schools into JSS1 of public secondary schools.
However, the governor said Primary 6 students desirous of placement into the state-owned Boarding Schools will sit for the Common Entrance Examination on Saturday, 12 September, 2020.
Also, he added that the hitherto JSS3 students who have now been promoted to SS1 will write their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in October, 2020.
The Statement emphasised that the COVID-19 guidelines earlier issued for reopening of schools are still in effect and must be observed without breach
The Governor said he had directed the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to provide all public schools with the required items to meet the guidelines and private school owners are urged to do same.
Recall that it is now over five months that the schools were shut due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.