Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State , has announced September 21 date for reopening of primary and secondary schools in the state, ending months of school closure occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fayemi disclosed this in a state-wide broadcast yesterday evening.
He also directed that tertiary institutions in the state be opened to students from October 2, subject to each institution’s Governing Council decision and strict adherence to safety protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The governor stressed that the authorities of the tertiary institutions were to liaise with the Ekiti COVID-19 Task Force for guidance on the appropriate measures to be put in place before reopening.
Specifically, the governor said students in SSS II, JSS III and Primary six are to resume on September 21, while students in SSS I, JSS II and Primary 5 and 4 are to resume from September 28.
Students in JSS I and Primary 1-3 are to resume on October 19, while pupils in Kindergarten and Nursery Schools are expected to resume on November 2, when more assurances of safety for their age bracket would have been established.
The governor noted that the decision to open more classes was taken because there had been no spike traceable to students in exit classes writing their certificate examinations.
According to him, this shows that our preventive measures to safeguard them from being infected has been effective.
On worship centres, Fayemi disclosed that they could henceforth hold two services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, while midweek services and night vigils were still prohibited.
He also lift partial ban on social activities, especially the ones taking place in halls and event centres, with owners of such facilities mandated to rent them to users on condition that they should not contain more than 50 per cent of their normal capacities.
Fayemi said: “Owners of halls and event centres may now be allowed to rent out their facilities but under no condition should such a facility contain more than 50 per cent of its normal capacity.
“This is to allow for social distancing. Events centres are expected to observe all protocols prescribed for religious centres and to obtain certificate of readiness before opening.”
The governor, however, expressed concern on the flouting of social distancing rules and non-use of face masks, saying that enforcement would also be scaled up to ensure compliance with COVID-19 regulations.
“While we have progressively responded to the initial lockdown with gradual relaxation in line with the progress made, we must remain vigilant as we cannot afford to indulge ourselves such that a spike may recur as a result of flagrant disobedience to the established protocol.
“We cannot afford to go back into another round of lockdown with its attendant repercussions. This point needs to be emphasized; though, there is a national decline in number of cases, there has been a noticeable upsurge in Ekiti.