OGUN ANNOUNCES DATE FOR REOPENING WORSHIP CENTRES, STATES GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOL RESUMPTION
Ogun State Government has addressed the subjects bordering on the reopening of schools and worship centres, stating that worship centres are to open on Friday, August 14.
Governor Dapo Abiodun made the remark in a statewide address on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Abeokuta, the State capital.
Abiodun noted that the two subjects on worship centres and schools have peculiar importance to his Government.
“The education sector has not only been one of the biggest industries in our dear State, and there is no gainsaying that we are the education capital of Nigeria. We also are homes to the biggest worship centres of the two major religions in Nigeria: Islam and Christianity. Here is where people come from different parts of the nation and even from all over the world to worship God in truth and in spirit,” he said.
The Governor disclosed that the State is the first to organize e-classes through digiclass to keep the students safe whilst the fight against COVID-19 continues, adding that all students would enjoy automatic promotion to the next class.
Speaking further, Abiodun said his administration has made available to all public and private schools a Risk Assessment Form on www.ogmoest.org to assess their readiness and close identified gaps before the resumption of academic activities.
The Governor commended the Federal Government for its decision to conduct the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) for students in SSS3.
Recall, Eons Intelligence on July 27, reported that the Federal Government has said that the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) will begin on August 17, 2020.
The Government also said that exit classes in secondary schools should resume August 4.
The Governor explained that the State Government has set some standards to ensure the safe reopening of schools across the state, both public and private.
The safety measures include:
Mandatory virtual training on prevention of Covid-19 for our school Administrative Heads and teachers;
Decontamination of the schools;
Teachers are being trained as first-line responders
Establishment of sick bays/isolation rooms in each school
Provision of face masks
Provision of infrared thermometers
Provision of an adequate supply of running water;
Provision of veronica buckets;
Governor Abiodun also tasked all School Administrators are to ensure that teachers are frequently trained on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for virtual engagement of students.
He added that Principals and Vice-Principals are to ensure staggering of closing time for students.
"There will not be a general school assembly but schools will observe class assembly," he added.
Also, additional requirement for boarding schools would be communicated via the ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
He reiterated that any school that fails to comply with the guidelines will not be allowed to reopen. He also urged all our parents, teachers and all other stakeholders in the Education Sector of the State to continue to ensure the safety of their wards.
Addressing the issue of reopening of worship centres, Governor Abiodun said his administration will remain resolute in its commitment and will not be distracted towards improving on the wellbeing, welfare and wellness of the people of Ogun State.
The Governor said worship centres should reopen on Friday, August 14, emphasizing that all safety protocols must be observed.
The safety measures include:
All congregants must wear their face masks appropriately (that is, No facemask, No entry);
Adequate provision of running water;
Worship centres should be adequately cleaned and disinfected before and after services;
Household bleach solution/equivalent should be adequately prepared for disinfestations;
There should be adequate provision and supervision of multiple Veronica Buckets for handwashing (fully automated handwashing machines are preferable);
There should be the provision of alcohol-based sanitiser which must be used before and after service;
Worship centres should provide adequate toilet facilities with water;
Muslims are advised to perform ablution at home and go to the Mosque with their personal praying mats;
Qualified Medical Practitioners or trained personnel should check the temperature of worshippers with an infrared thermometer before allowing them to enter worship centres;
There should be adequate medical support for sick persons;
All services on Friday/Sunday and other week days must adhere strictly to COVID-19 Guidelines;
There should be pre-designated standing position/sitting points to ensure not less than 2 meter distancing;
The duration of religious services should not be more than one and a half hours. In addition, same duration of one and a half hours must be observed as intervals, where there are multiple services;
The use of Air-conditioners should be discouraged while worship centres should be well ventilated with the use of fans;
There should not be any handshake/hugs by worshippers;
Proper awareness of the susceptibility of the aged and people with signs of ill-health should be adequately created among worshippers at all times;
Constant sensitisation of COVID-19 and its dangers should be included in sermon and goodwill messages;
Provision of isolation rooms is mandatory in all worship centres or facilities;
Religious services and events should be recorded with digital camera for record purposes;
Worship Centres and facilities with more than 200 worshippers in a given service must further seek concurrence with the State Government committee;
At all times, there should be adequate ventilation and effective Entry & Exit Management Procedure in each of the Worship Centres;
Administration of holy communion should be devoid of sharing of any item and must follow COVID-19 protocols.
The Governor urged religious leaders to ensure that they abide by the measures mutually agreed upon and rolled out.
He warned that his administration would not hesitate to impose severe sanctions, including, but not limited to lockdown, on any Worship Centre that fails to comply with the laid down guidelines.
He also congratulated the Muslim faithfuls o the celebration of Eid-il-Kabir, urging them to comply with the COVID-19 safety measures.
He asked them to observe the “Eid” prayer at home, saying “we beseech our citizens to stay safe by staying at home. And, there will not be any festivities or any gathering that violate the COVID-19 protocols of not more than 20 people at a time.”