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No teacher, student died of COVID-19 in Benue, says commissioner

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10 Kwara schools to remain shut

KWARA State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development has said the 10 Christian schools granted aid by the state government where the use of ‘hijab’ is in dispute will remain shut until further notice.

A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, listed the schools to include C&S College, Sabo Oke; St. Anthony College, Offa Road; ECWA School, Oja Iya; and Surulere Baptist Secondary School.

Others are Bishop Smith Secondary School, Agba Dam; CAC Secondary School, Asa Dam Road; St. Barnabas Secondary School, Sabo Oke; St. John School, Maraba; St. Williams Secondary School, Taiwo Isale; and St. James Secondary School, Maraba.

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“The government, therefore, directs school children and teachers in the affected schools to remain at home until the contrary is announced. The government remains committed to fairness, pluralism and respect for the law and rights of every citizen at all times,” the statement added.

The schools were initially due for re-opening yesterday, but state’s chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) kicked against the enforcement of the use of hijab in such schools, citing the sanctity of their faith, as many of the schools are located in church premises.

IN another development, Benue State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Dennis Ityavyar, has expressed gladness that during the lockdown of educational institutions in the state over 10 months ago, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), no teacher or student was reported dead.

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Ityavyar, who made the declaration yesterday in Makurdi while speaking with newsmen, said the state’s education sector was hit hard by the pandemic.

“Some of the challenges the education sector in the state faced include over 10 months lost academic calendar. The morale of teachers in private schools was dampened, as many (private schools) could not pay salaries. There was a lot of burden on the space available to cope with Covid-19 rules, as well as provision of face masks, hands sanitisers, thermometers among others.

He intimated that his ministry was embarking on recruitment of not less than 5,000 teachers to fill existing vacancies in both primary and secondary schools in the state. He explained that 2,000 of the recruits would be graduates and 3,000 Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) holders.

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