The Kwara State Government and the Christian Association of Nigeria have expressed divergent views on holding of religious devotion for students in the public primary and secondary schools in the state.
While the state government said students in both primary and secondary schools should have silent prayers during their morning devotion, the state chapter of CAN maintained that the morning devotion for students in government schools should be conducted according to the religious faith of the proprietors of each school.
The government last week directed that students in public schools should be made to pray silently during their morning devotion while reacting to a directive issued by the Secretary of Ilorin West Local Government Area that schools should hold separate devotion for both Muslim and Christian students in schools in the area.
The government in a statement by Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Bisola Ahmed said: “It has come to the notice of the Kwara State Government that some religious organisations have been going to public schools in the state to preach during the morning assembly.
“The ministry wants to say categorically that no religious organisation is permitted to go to public schools for preaching or engaging in any religious activities during morning assembly.
“The ministry, therefore, directs that prayers should be said silently on the morning assembly across public schools in the state.
“The government appeals to all school heads and other stakeholders to adhere strictly to this directive, which is to maintain peace and decorum in our schools. All principals, head teachers and education secretaries should please take note.”
However, CAN faulted the statement of the education commissioner, which it said contradicted the stand of government and other stakeholders in the state.
It urged that the status quo should be maintained on morning devotion or assembly in public schools in the state.
CAN in a statement jointly signed by Most Rev. Paul Olawoore and Rev. Idowu Ibitoye, Chairman and Secretary respectively said: “The attention of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kwara State chapter, has been drawn to an online publication titled ‘Kwara Government bans preaching in public schools’ in response to the purported press statement by the state government dated January 14, 2020, banning religious activities in public schools.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria, Kwara State chapter, debunked the press release. We make bold to say that the press statement was never authorised by the Kwara State in the way it was reported.
COVID-19: Kebbi Orders Closure Of Schools
The Kebbi State Government has ordered the immediate closure of all primary and secondary schools in the state for the safety of their pupils and students.
It said that this was due to the detection of people who had contracted the coronavirus in parts of the country.
The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Alhaji Muhammadu Magawatta- Aleiro, confirmed this development at the weekend.
He spoke shortly after an emergency meeting with the proprietors of private schools, Association of All Secondary Schools’ Principals and other stakeholders in Birnin Kebbi.
Aleiro said that the primary schools pupils in the state would not resume today.
He also said that all the students in the boarding schools would be allowed to stay in their hostels until Monday, March 23 when their schools would be closed.
”We are all aware of the pandemic of COVID-19 popularly known as coronavirus which started in China.
”For this reason, our governors had met in Abuja and agreed to close all our schools.
”For this reason, teachers association, heads of MDAs, principals’ association are here; and from today, we have closed all schools.
”Primary schools’ closure had taken effect from today while boarding schools will be closed on Monday, March 23,” he said.
He said that the schools were expected to complete their normal programmes on April 9 as they had started going through revisions of topics taught and were preparing for their examinations.
”We shall announce the time they will resume, especially, after we must have won the war against the virus.
”We are just appealing to the parents and the guardians to allow their children to be reading their books at home because anytime they resume, they will start their examinations immediately,” the commissioner said.
Our correspondent reports that the Acting Executive Secretary of State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Hajia Asmau Alkali attended the meeting.
Also, the leaders of the NUT, private schools and the association of principals in the state were also in attendance.
Ibadan Polytechnic Urges Students To Vacate Hostels Over Coronavirus
As educational institutions, groups and religious organisations continue to cancel programs, close schools and ban public gatherings over the fear of the deadly Coronavirus also known as COVID-19, the management of The Polytechnic Ibadan, yesterday said it has closed the institution until further notice.
Registrar of the institution, Modupe Theresa Fawale, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, maintained that the decision was in consonance with the directive of the Oyo state government.
She, however, advised students to vacate hostels of the institution with immediate effect.
Fawale said, “In line with the directive of the Oyo State Government, the management of The Polytechnic, Ibadan has closed down the institution till further notice.
“Students will be communicated of re-opening as soon as possible. All students are therefore requested to vacate the Halls of residence immediately.”
Fawale, while speaking on the preventive measures to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus, insisted that the institution has suspended all international conferences to be hosted by the faculties.
She added that all international travels by staff are suspended until further notice.
All incoming and outgoing exchange programmes as well as international visits of foreign partners and collaborators have been suspended until further notice, according to the Registrar
“As part of precautionary measures to prevent members of The Polytechnic, Ibadan community from contracting Corona Virus (COVID-19). management in consultation with the Director Medical Services, The Polytechnic, Ibadan has taken the following measures:
“All international conferences to be hosted by the faculties should be suspended until further notice. All international travels by staff are suspended until further notice.
“All incoming and outgoing exchange programmes as well as international visits of foreign partners and collaborators are suspended until further notice.
“Staff already out on international travel should inform the Management of the Institution on arrival by contacting the Director, Medical Services on 07030712065. Such person is strongly advised to self-isolate for at least fourteen (14) days before reporting to the office.
“All Departments, Faculties, Units, Halls of Residence, places of worship and other places with high concentration of people on campus are hereby advised to make provision for or resuscitate facilities for hand-washing in their immediate environment to encourage routine hand-wash. Adequate signs indicating such should also be provided.
Adamawa COE To Introduce More Undergraduate Courses
Provost, Adamawa State College of Education, Hong, Dr Johnson Pongri, says the college would soon introduce additional seven undergraduate courses.
Pongri made the disclosure during the third matriculation ceremony of the institution, held on Saturday at the college main campus in Hong
Our correspondent reports that the undergraduate school of the college is affiliated with the Faculty of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
“The College intends to add seven more undergraduate courses during the 2020/2021 academic session.
” The courses include: Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Integrated Science, Arabic, Physical and Health Education.
“Our undergraduate programme commenced with 450 students in four courses during the year 2017/2018 session;now the programme has grown to eight courses with a total population of about 1,105 students “ Pongri said.
He warned that the institution had zero tolerance for cult activities and therefore urged students to adhere to the rules and regulations of the College.
He also advised students to follow formal channels of communication in case of any problems through the Director, Students Affairs, or Academic Secretary.
“The College will not tolerate any resort to unlawful demonstrations, protests, or mass action,” Pongri warned.
In his message, the Acting Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who was represented by Prof. Yahaya Kajuru, reminded the students that they were in the university to acquire knowledge and become good citizens.
“It is the goal of ABU Zaria and its affiliate institutions to produce students with contemplative and highly creative minds, in order to prepare them for proper engagement with the fast moving and changing complex world,” Kajuru said.
He advised the students to shun examination malpractice, cultism, drug abuse, indecent dressing and all forms of antisocial behaviours.
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