By Simon Abaho
The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) has allowed medical and health training institutions to safely re-open starting Friday 13th August 2021.
According to the letter dated 5th August 2021, by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), the decision to re-open medical schools was reached during an inter-ministerial meeting held on 4th August 2021.
The meeting agreed that the medical schools starting with finalists and post-graduate classes be re-opened under Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) effective 13th August.
“Thereafter, the rest of the years shall re-open in phased manners, maintaining a maximum of 33% of learners in each institution at a time.”
Meanwhile, institutions have been encouraged to continue training preclinical classes remotely using Open Distance and Electronic Learning (OPEL) until conditions permit.
Furthermore, students and teaching staff both considered part of the prioritized program for vaccination, have been urged to get vaccinated as soon as vaccines become available. The two groups are expected to get vaccinated before reporting to schools.
It should be remembered that the president during his national address on 18th June 2021 had ordered for closure of all educational institutions in the country as part of the measures to control the second wave of Covid-19.
Despite, announcing a partial lifting of the 42-day lockdown on 30th July 2021, the president said all schools would remain closed until a sizeable number of learners have been vaccinated.
The president, however, had directed the education ministry, the health ministry, and NCHE, to meet and plan for the possibility of safe re-opening of medical schools.
The president’s directive was in consideration of the fact that medical schools are the source of specialized human resources for the health sector as well as the next generation of epidemic control personnel during the Covid times.