Following Federal Government’s new guidelines for reopening of schools, lecturers in Nigerian higher institutions will have to teach four sessions per class as one of the conditions for academic activities to return in the country.
This is in view of the fact that one of the major conditions given for reopening of schools is social distancing in classes, including during lectures. There are several departments in Nigerian Universities and other higher institutions with over 150 students in one class, invariably meaning that such classes would have to be divided into three or four sessions so that students can effectively space out to adhere to social distancing rules. This is also in view of the fact that most classroom spaces in Nigerian Universities are not adequate to space out more than 50 students at the same time. So lecturers will have to face an uphill task of teaching one course four or five times to the same class via different sessions.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday, June 16, outlined conditions to be met by each of the schools ahead of the reopening of educational institutions.
They have advised the schools to put in place preventive measures against COVID-19 before announcing reopening dates.
The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, who represented the Minister for Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed this information at the 2020 policy meeting on Admissions to Tertiary Institutions, on Tuesday in Abuja, which was organized by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
He said that the heads of the various educational institutions did not have to wait for a formal order from the government to reopen schools before putting necessary measures in place, in compliance with the recommendations of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Ahead of the reopening of the schools, the FG has listed the following conditions to be met:
“All institutions of learning must have hand washing facilities, body temperature checks, body disinfectants at all entering points to their major facilities including the gates, hostels, classes and offices.
“The whole premises of each institution must be decontaminated and all efforts must be geared toward maintenance of the highest level of hygiene.”
“Ensure social and physical distancing in class sizes and eating spaces,” the minister said.
He said the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 was working assiduously with facts and figures that reflected the realities of the country’s current situation.
The process, he explained, was to enable the response to the challenge so that it could limit and manage the negative effects of the pandemic.
Adamu, however, commended institutions that had responded promptly with different innovations, including the manufacturing of some of the facilities that were required to attend to the pandemic.
According to the Minister, those innovations included the production of ventilators, body disinfectants, hand washing soaps, liquid dispensers and body temperature gauges. These products reflect the manifestations of the abundance of talents in the country.
As reported, the meeting took place at the JAMB headquarters and had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, and staff of JAMB.
Other participants included the Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of all tertiary institutions across the country, as well as members of JAMB governing board who attended the meeting via Zoom network.