Ogun cancels 3rd term as schools reopen on Tuesday - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Ogun cancels 3rd term as schools reopen on Tuesday

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By Aremu Sosanya


The Ogun state government has cancelled 3rd term for primary and post primary schools in the State while adding that the schools that have complied with the safety measures put in place to curtail the spread of covid-19 will open on Tuesday 4th August, 2020


Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun said this while addressing newsmen on the efforts made so far to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the State held at Oke mosan, Abeokuta.

The Governor also declared that use of face mask in the state is now compulsory, saying that whoever violates the rule risks six months imprisonment.

He also hinted that religious centres in the state will open from August 14.

The governor said, compulsory wearing of face masks by all persons in public is part of measures to prevent the rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

He said, "wearing of face masks in the public is now compulsory. Therefore, I hereby invoke powers conferred on me by Regulation 7 of the Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations No. 2 of 2020 (the Regulations), made pursuant to section 33 of the Public Health Law of Ogun State (the Law), to mandate the compulsory wearing of face masks by all persons in public as part of measures to prevent the rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)". 

"Failure to do so is punishable by up to six months' imprisonment under Regulation 8 of the Regulations and section 68 of the Law".

Speaking on reopening of religious centres, Governor Abiodun urged religious leaders to ensure that they
abide by the measures mutually agreed upon and rolled out.

He noted that the state government would not hesitate to impose severe sanctions, including, but not limited tolockdown, on any worship centre that failed to comply
with the laid down guidelines.

“It is important to note that all religions make provision for obedience to God and the authorities of the land.

“The Holy Qur’an stipulates in chapter 4, verse 59 that “O
you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the
messenger and those in authority among you.

” The same message is also preached in the Holy Bible.
According to the English Standard Version (ESV), Roman
13, verses 1-7, “let everybody be subject to the governing authorities".

“Those that exist have been instituted by God… those who resist will incur judgement".

“We had continued to engage the leaderships of the two
religious bodies, as represented by Christian Association
of Nigeria (CAN) and the League of Imams and Alfas on
the modalities for the reopening of the religious houses", he said.

“And, we thank them for their understanding, support and
solidarity. We now have guidelines for the reopening of our worship centres jointly developed and agreed with our religious leaders".

“This was finalised after collaborative and inclusive
meeting with the religious institutional representatives and made available on Monday, July 27. It is in our collective interest to fully comply with the guidelines so that, together, we can further flatten the curve of this
pandemic".

 The governor highlighted some of the guidelines to observe by religious centres to include; "all congregants must wear their face masks, adequate provision of running water; worship centres should be adequately cleaned and disinfected before and after services".

Other conditions included " household bleach solution / equivalent should be adequately prepared for disinfectations; provisions of hand washing facilities,  alcohol-based sanitiser which must be used before and after service".

Governor Abiodun added "Muslims are advised to perform ablution at home and go to Mosque with their personal praying mats".

"There should be pre-designated standing position/
sitting points to ensure not less than 2 meter distancing,
the duration of religious services should not be more than one and a half hours. In addition, same duration of one and a half hours must be observed as intervals,
where there are multiple services".

"The use of air-conditioners should be discouraged
while worship centres should be well ventilated with the
use of fans; there should not be any handshake/hugs by
worshippers".

"Worship Centres and facilities with more than 200
worshippers in a given service must further seek
concurrence with the State government committee;

"Administration of holy communion should be devoid
of sharing of any item and must follow COVID-19
protocols".

On the reopening of schools, Governor Abiodun said "in line with the Federal Government resolutions, exit classes, that is – strictly SS3 only (public or private schools) - will resume classes on Tuesday, 4th August, 2020". 

"Then, there will be a 2-week revision classes to prepare the SS3 students for the commencement of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) slated to start on Monday, 17th August, 2020. In readiness for this, we are putting in place facilities to meet COVID-19 preventive criteria". 

"We are happy that the Federal Government and the external examination bodies, especially the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), have agreed on resumption dates and dates of examination especially for the exit classes.

" On education, we appreciate the fact that only properly prepared and equipped youth of today will take the advantages and benefits of the future we are building".

"Education is a major pillar upon which we hope to build a better future for our children and grand children. We appreciate its importance so much that even in the heat of the COVID and its effects, we were the first to organise e-classes through the Ogun digiclass to keep our students safe whilst engaging in their studies and ensuring that learning continues". 

"We also appreciate the fact that we need to make these students physically available, especially to sit for external examinations which are not peculiar to our country alone. In this direction, we have put in place a multi-dimensional approach towards ensuring that our students resume learning in a safe and healthy environment". 

"Our fear is that children are mostly asymptomatic even as carriers. These asymptomatic carriers might go back home after contracting the virus innocently and the transmission continues to their parents, or grand-parents, cousins, aunties and thus increase the spread of the virus". 

The governor reiterated that, "with or without COVID, the children of Ogun State and their education will remain our biggest priority. We have continued to engage different stakeholders in the educational sector and we have received far-reaching recommendations".

"Towards this direction, we have made available to all public and private schools a Risk Assessment Form on www.ogmoest.org to assess their readiness and close identified gaps before resumption of academic activities*. 

He added that " there will not be general school assembly but schools will observe class assembly ".

He warned that any school, whether private or public, that fails to comply with all the guidelines stipulated by government will not be allowed to reopen. 

"Let me also state that, with the exception of students in the exit classes, all students in our schools would enjoy " automatic promotion to the next class". 

The Basic Certificate Examination (BECE), National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) and Common Entrance Examination into the 33 Model Schools with boarding facilities in our dear State will be announced on a later date".

He implored all our parents, teachers and all other stakeholders in the education sector of the State to continue to ensure the safety of our children. 

"You all need to pay special attention to all these pupils and students and ensure that they take to all the precautionary advice and measures as soon as the schools are reopened. We cannot afford the spread of this pandemic in schools and our homes. By doing this, you will not only join in the fight against the Corona Virus, but also share in the government efforts towards the successful implementation of our “Building our Future Together” Agenda".