School closure: Rivers Govt threatens withdrawal of license from violators

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku has threatened to withdraw operational license from any school in the state that violates the order of the state government on the closure of schools across the state over global coronavirus pandemic.

This as the Education Commissioner stated that the closure of Private and Public primary schools, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions is indefinite until the issue of COVID-19 is adequately tackled in the world.

Prof Ebeku stated few hours on Friday after the state Governor Nyesom Wike ordered the closure of schools in the state from Monday, March 23, 2020, as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Briefing newsmen in his office, Prof Ebeku warned all school proprietors to close activities or face sanction by the state government.

He said any school that fails to adhere to the order, government would withdraw their operational licence.

He disclosed that before the announcement of the schools closure, the Ministry have had a crucial meeting with heads of schools on how to conclude activities before the issued date.

The Education commissioner, who noted no case of the virus in the state, recalled that the World Health Organization, WHO, had warned African countries to prepare for the worst following the outbreak of coronavirus.

He said: “I must say that these are not good times in the world. The scourge of the virus called Coronavirus or COVID-19 is rampaging virtually all countries of the world and World Health Organization has warned African countries to prepare for the worst.

“Earlier today, the state Governor, His Excellency, Nyesom Wike as the dynamic and responsible leader had a state-wide broadcast, announced that all schools in the state are to be closed with effect from on Monday, March 23, 2020. This is the painful but necessary decision to protect the people of Rivers State, particularly our schools growing children from the pandemic.

“Order of closures affects all schools both public and private, from primary to Tertiary level. In furtherance to this decision Governor Nyesom Wike has set up a committee to monitor compliance with the order of the closure of schools and I have also set up a 5-man-committee to move round the state to ensure compliance.

“For the avoidance of doubt, any private school that violates the order of closure will have its operating license withdrawn”, Prof Ebeku added.

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