By Stephen Adeleye.
Kogi State Government on Thursday reaffirmed that all public and private schools in the state are to resume academic activities on Monday January 18, 2021, and called on all relevant stakeholders to comply.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, made the announcement during a press briefing on Thursday in his office in Lokoja.
Jones reiterated that all schools in the state both public private, should resume on Monday January 18, 2021, to continue the first term 2020/2021 academic session.
“It has become imperative for me to address the press this morning to clear the air, so as to prevent confusion on account of school resumption in Kogi State.
“I will like to state unequivocally that resumption date for all schools in Kogi State remains 18th of January, 2021. This applies to both public and private primary and secondary, and tertiary institution of learning in the state,” Jones said.
The Commissioner said that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, had done a revised school academic calendar to accommodate and cover up for the two weeks’ break extension, due to lockdown prompted by the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
He noted that schools in Kogi were initially scheduled to resume on January 4, 2021, for continuation of first term, but was extended by two weeks due to the general hardship in the country as a result of the second wave of Covid-19 lockdown, as advised by the Federal Ministry of Education through the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19.
He added that Gov. Yahaya Bello, had directed the ministry to comply with the two weeks break extension in the state as advised by the PTF.
“The governor, thereafter, clearly stated that the state would not jeopardize the education of our children by extending school resumption beyond 18th of January, 2021.
“So, schools must resume in Kogi State across all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary for both private and public schools, on January 18,” Jones said.
He called on all boards and agencies under the Kogi State education ministry, and all relevant stakeholders to take note of the development and act accordingly.
Jones stressed that the ministry would monitor school resumption as usual, saying all heads of schools should comply strictly with the directive.
The Commissioner further warned that anything contrary to the directive would attract sanctions from any erring school.
According to the Commissioner, the continuation of the First Term 2020/2021 Academic session would begin on 18th January to end on 5th March, 2021.
He added that the 2nd Term 2020/2021 academic session would commence on 15th March to end on 28th May, 2021 (10 weeks), while the 3rd Term would begin on 7th June to end on 20th August, 2021 (11 weeks).
He further added that the 2021/2022 Academic Calendar would commence on 20th September, 2021.
“If we are able to achieve these, our losses in terms of time wasted during the lockdown period would be very negligible.
“This remodified calendar has taken care of all national public holidays, and we have taken them into consideration. So, every institution is advised to adhere strictly to it,” he said.
He stressed that the school had had enough break, and hence there would be no mid-term holidays during all the sessions.
He added that secondary schools would close at 4pm and primary schools 2pm daily from Monday to Thursday, while schools would close on Friday at 1pm so as to consider Muslims for their Juma’at prayer.
He re-emphasised the need for teachers, students and parents to take note, observe and strictly adhere to all the Covid-19 protocols as stated by the PTF.
“We are very hopeful that we would not suffer any death on account of Covid-19 in our schools; our State has remained Covid-19 free, and we thank God for the proactiveness of the pragmatic Governor that we have.”