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School reopening confusion: FG releases guidelines for school resumption, omits resumption date.

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There was confusion on Monday over reopening of schools in the country as the  Federal Government issued guidelines, but failed to mention the resumption date for the schools.

The guidelines for the reopening of schools were contained in  a document titled, ‘Guidelines for schools and learning facilities reopening after COVID-19 pandemic closures: Taking responsibility for safe schools and quality learning.’ It was signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and Minister of State for Education, Mr  Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.  The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had, at its press briefing on June 29,  said the Federal Government had approved the resumption of graduating pupils in Primary 6, Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3. It said the resumption would enable the pupils to prepare for their final examinations. The task force said the West African Examinations Council had fixed the West African Senior School Certificate Examination for between August 3 and September 5.

At the June 29 press briefing, the PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, said, “Pupils  in graduating classes – only graduating classes; Primary 6, JSS 3 and SSS3 – will be allowed to resume in preparation for examinations.” But on Wednesday, the  Federal Executive Council, at its meeting made a U-turn when it put the planned resumption of graduating classes on hold on the grounds that it was not safe to reopen schools because of COVID-19. It said pupils of the Federal Government-owned unity schools would not participate in WASSCE. Despite putting the resumption on hold, the Federal Ministry of Education on Monday issued guidelines for the reopening of the schools.

According to the guidelines, the safe distancing measures require that in schools and other learning facilities, learners should be supported to stay two metres apart.

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Lai Mohammed calls for regulation of social media.

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The minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, October 27 said that the nation is sitting on a keg of gun powder regarding the issue of fake news, hence the need for the federal government to immediately begin to regulate the social media space.

The minister stated this while responding to questions from federal lawmakers when he appeared before the House of Representatives committee on information, national orientation, ethics and values.Alhaji Lai Mohammed has continued his advocacy for social media regulation. Alhaji Mohammed made reference to the recent #ENDSARS protest, saying that it was fought on social media.

His words:

“They mobilised using social media. The war today revolves around two things. Smart phones and data and these young men don’t even watch television or listen to the radio or read newspapers. “We are sitting on a time bomb on this issue of fake news. Unfortunately, we have no national policy on social media and we need one. The minister’s latest comments is expected to spark reactions across the country as young Nigerians have been warning against government’s alleged plans to gag them on social media.

The authorities have promised that they don’t intend to completely shut down social media in the country, but the distrust between government and the led in Nigeria has been that of mutual suspicion.

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