Why schools in Lagos will not resume with other business activities on Monday, May 4

The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday evening announced guidelines for relaxing the lockdown imposed on the state after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a gradual easing of the four-week lockdown with effect from May 4. 

The lockdown which has been in place since March 31, was adopted as a precautionary measure to prevent further spread of coronavirus across Lagos, Abuja, and Ogun State. 

While announcing the sectors and businesses that were allowed to reopen on Monday, Sanwo-Olu excluded both public and private schools at all levels.

Going by the standard academic calendar, schools ought to have resumed for the third term on Monday, April 27, but due to the continued lockdown, students are forced to stay at home. Sanwo-Olu maintains that students should continue studying virtually from home in the meantime.

"All schools and institutions at primary, secondary and tertiary level remain physically closed. Students are expected to continue learning on the alternative online and media channels announced by the various institutions of learning," he said.

The reason for the decision could not be far from the fact that young school children may not have the discretion or ability to fully protect themselves from situations that may expose them to being infected with COVID-19. And allowing them to resume will expose them to avoidable risks.

According to the governor, the lockdown would be eased gradually until such a time when everyone can go back to their normal lives. 

"We will continue to monitor the public health situation; the economic impact of the lockdown and always adjust our responses accordingly," he assured.

Meanwhile, open markets, malls, factories, businesses, government offices are allowed to reopen for business starting from Monday, May 4. People are also free to go about their tasks while observing social distancing and dusk to dawn curfew from 8pm to 6am. Wearing face masks in public is now compulsory.

Public and religious gatherings and nonessential interstate travel are still banned. Likewise all entertainment centres, such as event centres, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, nightclubs, and beaches.

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