Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, yesterday said the Federal Government had put in place mechanism to sanction erring violators of safe school reopening guidelines.
Nwajiuba disclosed this during a one-day stakeholders meeting with stakeholders from the Northwest zone on the readiness for safe re-opening of schools organised by United Nations Childen's Fund, UNICEF, with support through UNICEF Girls' Education Project Phase 3, GEP 3, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO.
He said: "Accordingly, the Federal Ministry of Education developed the safe school readiness template for an integrated approach to safe school re-opening which comes with many lessons. The template requires the full engagement of all stakeholders which is considered a sine qua non for successful implementation. It is in view of the above, that the Ministry considers it expedient to hold this stakeholders' meeting at this time to plan and address the eventual safe re-opening of schools and learning facilities, nationwide. We all know that great accomplishments are made based on synergy.
"It is on this premise that we are all here to deliberate and adopt the template for safe re-opening of schools and learning facilities. The template has some key roles and shared responsibilities to be played by the stakeholders at National, State, LGA and the school levels. It is imperative to ask the question "What are you doing in your state that is different from what is in the template. I urge you to critique the template assiduously for the benefit of Nigerian school child."
He added, "We have already put in place a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to check erring states or schools."
Similarly, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, said the meeting, among others, was to finalize level of readiness of the states for the safe re-opening of the schools for the well being and safety of the school children.
Represented by the Deputy Governor, Nasiru Gawuna, Ganduje, said the state had put in place measures for safe re-opening of the schools that included continuous disinfection of the schools, rehabilitation of schools and provision of the Personal Protective Equipments, PPEs, for both public and private schools in the state.
Earlier, the Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Rafid Saleh, pledged the body's support to the Federal and state governments to ensure schools were safe and ready to guarantee a safe, secure and supportive learning environment for all children in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Others at the meeting included commissioners of Education and Health, Chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Board Directors from Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa.