ABUJA, 17 January 2021 – Schools will reopen Monday across despite a spike in new coronavirus cases across Africa’s most populous nation.

Nigeria’s education ministry confirmed the resumption date last Friday.

The decision is the outcome of wide consultation with teachers’ unions, state governors, parents, local government officials and other stakeholders, the education ministry said in a statement.

Schoolboys spotting masks in class - Photo Relief Web

Schoolboys spotting masks in class – Photo Relief Web

Only a fortnight ago, Nigeria’s education ministry had said it was opened to considering another postponement of school resumption.

Officials said, at the time, that they would call off resumption if there was a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Fears that the new variant of the virus detected in Nigeria, South Africa and the UK may be spreading faster and easier appear to have not been enough to impose another postponement.

UNICEF says one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria.

Education officials in Nigeria estimate that about 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years are not in school despite the fact that primary education is officially free and compulsory.

As of Sunday, Nigeria had recorded 109,000 cases (an additional 1,598 over the last 24 hours) with 1,420 fatalities and 85,367 full recoveries, according to the most updated data published by Johns Hopkins University.

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