As IMO State gears towards reopening of schools as the says it has put preliminary measures in line with the COVID-19 protocols to ensure that candidates registered for the 2020 Senior School Certificate Examination sit for the forthcoming WAEC Examinationa.

The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard T. O Ikegwuoha disclosed  this during an audience participatory programme of the Heartland FM Radio ' Issues of the Moment'.

Prof. Ikegwuoha stated that schools in Imo State will resume classes specifically and exclusively for Senior Secondary School students who will be writing WAEC examination. "Imo state students will take WAEC examination without a doubt. The Governor, His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma will soon announce the resumption date. That is for sure". He emphasized.

He however pointed out that a number of measures were considered by the State government for strict compliance by the schools and parents in order to forestall spread of Corona Virus, while students are in school. Some of the measures outlined by the Commissioner include:
- Every school as a matter of urgency should resuscitate Parents Teachers Association (PTA) to ensure that NCDC protocols against COVID-19 is driven by both Parents and Teachers.
- Parents will take responsibility for their children/wards protection with specificity to the provision of Face Masks for their children and themselves. Indeed, parents will ensure that thet bring their children/wards to school and equally take them home after school
and examination each day.
- Students must wear face masks, maintain social distance, avoid handshake/hugging and wash or sanitise their hands regularly.

He further noted that the Ministry of Education will work in conjunction with Secondary School Management Board ( SEMB) to ensure that all public schools are fumigated and the environment decontaminated; as well as provide buckets, soaps and sanitizers for all the schools.. The Ministry of Education is empowered to oversee all issues related to fumigation and decontamination of classrooms and school environment, including compliance to the WHO and CDC and Covid-19 Taskforce  stated protocol for combating coronavirus

It is worth-nothing that while for other exam classes (primary 6 and JSS 3), as well as other school children, the Commissioner explained that they will be engaged in the e-learning programme as Government is working in concert with telecom  companies to provide internet services at a very reduced cost to relieve parents the burden of staggering cost of data. He therefore appealed to parents to meaningfully engage their children and wards until schools resume.

Prof. Ikegwuoha cleared the air on the rumours making  rounds that IMO State University workers are owed 5 months salary arears, and emphatically stated that the Academic and Non Academic Staff have been paid for March, April and May salaries. He explained that those who did not receive salaries were only those that presented incorrect or incomplete payment data, as Government now operates Centralized Electronic Payment and Receipting System of payroll; and therefore charged the labour unions to engage the University management to ensure that all payroll details and requirements are submitted.

Ministry of Education
17th July, 2020