Students of all federal-owned universities and polytechnics as well as pupils of the 104 unity colleges across the country will from today return home as the Federal Government on Thursday took another concrete step to stem the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Also to go on the ‘forced’ holiday is pupils of primary and secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory, Enugu, Anambra, Kano Benue, Niger and Adamawa states. Lagos and states in the Northwest on Wednesday announced closure of schools.

Students of tertiary institutions in Ogun State asked the state government to close their schools.

Lagos said it had made arrangements for pupil preparing for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to be taught electronically.

Last night, the Nigeria Law School in Abuja also suspended academic activities for four weeks.

Before the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu gave the directive of schools closure,  The authorities of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the Lagos State  University (LASU) have slated meetings for today to finalise the decision to halt academic activities.

The minister said in a statement by this ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Ben Goong, that the decision to close schools was a proactive step to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

The statement said:”We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately.

“Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March.”

The schools in Anambra, Enugu, Niger, Adamawa and Kano will be closed from March 27

In Abuja, the FCT Administration said its schools needed to close down immediately until the deadly virus’ spread is curtailed…

FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, gave the directive during her meeting with heads of secretariats, departments and agencies (SDAs) under her supervision in Abuja.

She said:  “We should not endanger the lives of our children for whatsoever reasons. You know, when these children are in school, they pick up anything and put in their mouths.

“Therefore, the best and safer thing to do is to close down the schools for a week, two or even a month until the situation gets better.

“As a matter of fact, as from tomorrow being Friday, all public and private schools in the territory should be closed down indefinitely.”

In Lagos, Education Commissioner, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, said on a television programme that teachers would pre-record lessons in eight subjects for broadcast on radio, television and online for Senior Secondary 3 pupils.

The subjects are: English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Literature-In-English, Financial Accounting and Economics.

A source in UNILAG told The Nation On Thursday that the institution’s Senate would likely approve a closure that would last up to three weeks.

“Officially we have not announced closure. The Senate is meeting tomorrow (Friday) and will likely announce closure for three weeks at the first instance,” the source said.

Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, LASU, Mr. Ademola Adekoya, said the institution’s Senate would decide on closure when it meets today..

“We are not closed yet. But the Senate is meeting tomorrow and would take a decision on closure,” he said.

LASU suspended indefinitely, its 24th convocation which was scheduled to start today and end on Monday.

A statement signed by Adekoya reads: “The Lagos State University management hereby announces the postponement of the 24th Convocation Ceremonies of the University indefinitely. The convocation ceremonies were scheduled for Friday 20th to Friday 27th March, 2020.

“The postponement is as a result of the prevailing health threats occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic and the resolution of the Federal and State Government to discourage the gathering of people in public places at this point.”

The Nigeria Law School in a statement by the Director of Administration, Mrs E.O Max Uba, directed students to vacate their hostels latest on March 25.

The National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) advised the government to send its members home immediately

NAOSS National President, Gbemileke Ogunrombi, said the call was necessitated by the reported first case of Coronavirus outbreak in Benin Republic, a neighbouring country to Nigeria.



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