The Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education has begun decontaminating and disinfecting 19,000 unity schools in preparation for their resumption.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar while briefing newsmen in Kaduna said the collaborating ministries have put in place a sustainable system which will protect the health of learners and their caregivers at all educational levels.
While re-assuring parents of the safety and well-being of their wards, he urged them to ensure they are properly kitted with face masks during the examination.
According to him, “Starting with the Federal Government Colleges (Unity schools) and then some of the schools that will host the Senior School Certificate Examination, numbering about 19, 000, whereas the unity schools will be subjected to thorough decontamination/disinfection in the coming days immediately after the Eid-el-Kabir sallah break preparatory for their reopening on 4th August, 2020, our personnel will be mounting surveillance in some of the examination centers.
“This will include decontaminating examination halls at the end of every examination session.
“As with the decontamination and disinfection previously embarked upon by the ministry, this time around, it will entail the use of friendly and globally accepted formulations-friendly to the environment and people.”
He noted that the process will ensure adequate synergy between the host schools management and the Environmental Health Officers who will be responsible for making sure the examination centers identified for the national examination are sterile for their users.
He further disclosed that operational and logistical preparations have been concluded to ensure a hitch-free exercise, adding, “it is imperative for citizens to appreciate the fact that as much as the world grapples with the understanding of the nature and attributes of the coronavirus, adhering to provisions of the COVID-19 control protocol remains key in this global fight.”
He said hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and avoidance of crowd, physical distancing as well as terminal and concurrent decontamination and disinfection must continue to be compiled with.
He urged state governments to ensure that schools in their states are regularly decontaminated and disinfected by licensed environmental health officers for the safety and healthy living of learners and teachers.
“Equally important is for private school proprietors to follow suit, let me also emphasise that only decontamination certificates issued by licensed professionals who practice nationwide are valid,” he added.
Acting Registrar, Environmental Health Officers Registration Council of Nigeria, Dr. Mohammed Yakubu Baba called on the environmental health officers to own up to their roles and ensure proper decontamination of centers.
He said, “With the level of manpower, the skills and the technology at their disposal, they will not let the minster down, we are expecting to see a hitch free exercise where all the 19,000 centers will be taken care of by disinfection and decontamination.”
He described the mounting of surveillance desks as a commendable move and urged all centers to ensure all students are wearing their face masks while adhering to strict compliance with the social distancing when the examination is on.