The state Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, said in a statement in Kaduna on Monday, that the directive was in compliance with the Federal Ministry of Education resolution for schools to open on Aug. 4.

This, according to Makarfi, is to enable final year students to write their West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and other certificate examinations.

Gov. Nasir El-Rufai has approved Monday, Aug. 10 as the resumption date for the SSS 3 students that are expected to begin their WAEC examination slated for Aug. 17.

“Therefore, the Ministry of Education is directing all school principals to arrange to receive SSS 3 boarding students on Aug. 9 and day students on Aug. 10.

“All administrators of public and private schools are to note that the one-week period commencing from today is to allow for necessary preparations and arrangements to meet COVID-19 guidelines for the opening of schools.

“Principals are to ensure compliance to agreed guidelines, which include reduced hours of work/revision to four hours per shift, social distancing in classes, laboratories, libraries and hostels,’’ he said.

He added that there should also be consistency in temperature monitoring and handing over of any suspected case of COVID-19 to health authorities.

He warned that no school should open before Aug. 10, except for boarding schools, where students are expected to arrive on Aug. 9.

The commissioner further directed private secondary schools in the state to report their readiness to open to the schools’ Quality Assurance Authority.

He said that private schools should report, using the appropriate checklist and obtain a written ‘no objection to open’, on clean bill of health.

He also asked that head of higher institutions and principals of secondary schools should report to the relevant department in the ministry.

He called on parents to ensure proper arrangement for safe transportation of their children to and from schools.

“To make the environment safe and conducive for academic activity, the government is doing everything possible to decontaminate and disinfect public schools, including higher institutions and provide hand washing facilities.

“We will also arrange for temperature monitoring of both staff and students, provision of face masks to staff and students, as well as hand sanitisers.

However, parents are advised to equip their children with extra face masks and small 100ml hand sanitisers for use during their transportation to and from schools,’’ he added.

Makarfi said that appropriate dates for other examinations would be announced in due course, including school opening for the rest of the classes including SSS1, SSS2, JSS 1 to 3 and primary schools.

He encouraged schools to continue the e-learning programme using Google class, Zoom, radio and television and other online platforms until normalcy returned.