Rising COVID-19 cases: NUT cautions FG against Jan 18 schools’ resumption date

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The Nigeria Union of Teachers:NUT has cautioned the Federal Government against the January 18 resumption date for schools in the country.

Dr Mike Ike-Ene, the NUT Secretary-General made the statement on Thursday in an interview with our correspondents from ccnworldtech.

He said there was no need to hurriedly resume,  if the rate of COVID-19 infection kept increasing, that if coronavirus infection was increasing,  teachers would stay at home.

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had earlier on December 17 said the country had entered COVID-19 second wave.

The PTF, at its press briefing on December 21, said the FG had ordered all schools to remain closed until January 18 as part of the efforts to curtail COVID-19 second wave.

Dr Ike-Ene in the interview with ccnworldtech explained that it was important to critically study the infection rate as schools awaited the January 18th resumption date given by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He said, “I am someone who believes in life and it is when there is life that you can have a proposal. The number we are having shows that this (second wave) is more horrible. If the PTF and the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) are able to tell us about the new discoveries, then we can decide if we should stay at home or resume.

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“As for all the COVID-19 protocols, our teachers have been practising them in our schools. That was why  WASSCE (West African Senior School Certificate Examination) was held. If they feel this one is more rapid in terms of new infections,  it means that teachers will stay at home.

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“The Federal Government has said resumption is January 18. Let’s watch out, if by 18th (of January),   it keeps increasing,  then one will advise that the students should tarry. Let them remain at home. There is no point rushing and risking lives.

“There is no point rushing,  although our students have wasted time, I think our students; especially the undergraduates, are in a hurry to go back to school. If the number keeps increasing the way it is, it means we may take some few weeks to look at it properly.”

He added that Teachers and Students are very vulnerable and should be the first set of people to be considered for the coronavirus vaccines when they arrive in the country. That it is important to protect them as they constituted the present and future of Nigeria.

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