Education Minister Mallam Ibrahim Shakarau has directed that no school should be closed because of the February elections. Shakarau also said all schools on mid-term break should immediately resume for academic session, calling on those that are planning to go on mid-term break to cancel it and continue with studies.
He spoke in Abuja at an emergency meeting with state Commissioners of Education and other stakeholders in the sector.
The elections, he said, are scheduled for weekend, adding that there was no need to close schools.
He warned private schools to comply with the directives, warning that state commissioners of education should monitor private schools.
The minister said the Federal Government would sanction any private or public schools that fail to comply.
His words: “We have decided that in schools where we have polling stations, we have decided to call on state governments to provide security. We pray that the elections will come and go peacefully. We advised parents to avoid rumours and that no school should release children to parents.
“It is our believe that we have had elections in the past and there was no crisis. We have suffered a setback in the school calendar during the Ebola crisis. We have also decided that all mid-term breaks in all schools should be suspended.
“Any private school that violates this directive will be sanctioned. We should not work on any unfounded rumour that will create security threat. This body is a body that approves the private schools. We want to urge all state Ministries of Education to enforce this directive.
“We should all be working towards positivity of this election and not otherwise. I can assure you that there will be no crisis.”
Chairman of Commissioners Forum and Cross River State Commissioner of Education, Prof. Efiong Efiong, assured the minister that his counterparts would comply with the directives, adding that government at the state level would do everything possible to avoid crisis in schools during the election.