The House of Representatives has rejected the approval given by the Federal Government for all schools to resume on Monday, January 18, despite rising cases of COVID-19.
The consensus was reached at a meeting between the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Commissioners of Education in Abuja.
Speaking to The Punch on Saturday, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, accused the government of not consult the relevant committees of the National Assembly, contrary to their claim that all relevant stakeholders were consulted.
He demanded the immediate postponement of school resumption for three months, where necessary safety measures weren’t put in place and compliance with protocols low.
“They did not consult us; at least in my committee, nobody from the ministry spoke to me. I have been in Abuja. And I am not sure that they spoke to any of my members. They just don’t see us as part of the critical stakeholders,” he said.
In a statement titled “Schools resumption: Are we truly prepared?” he released later on Saturday on behalf of his committee, Ihonvbere rejected the Monday resumption date.
It read in part, “The Committee on Basic Education and Services, House of Representatives, has received with concern the decision of the Federal Government to reopen schools on January 18, 2021.
“We are particularly concerned that when the infection rates hovered around 500 and under, schools were closed; but now that it hovers well above 1,000 infections daily, schools are being reopened. Why are we rushing to reopen schools without adequate verifiable and sustainable arrangements to protect and secure our children?”