Press Release

COVID-19: Reopening Schools now is premature

05 July 2020

Press Release 07

Lagos, Nigeria.


The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank* (the Anap Think Tank) has followed with keen interest the recent approval by the Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF), of new guidelines to fight the spread of the pandemic while easing up some sectors in order to gradually resume socio-economic activities in the country.

The Anap Think Tank highly commends the government for lifting the ban on interstate travel which had been observed more in its breach, giving way to preferential treatment of travellers and a high level of malpractice in its enforcement. We also welcome the proposed resumption of air travel as this will be based on well-established international protocols which make air travel relatively safe.

The Anap Think Tank, however, views with great concern the proposal to reopen schools for graduating students. The science and data reveal that the pandemic is currently at the community transmission phase and is still approaching its peak. Having school children from different homes gather in enclosed classrooms and interacting closely for long hours at this stage of our epidemic will, in our opinion, portend great danger for the pupils, their teachers and their immediate families.

Though the PTF has specified appropriate protocols as safeguards, we are aware that most schools, especially the public ones, will not have the required resources to put these in place, nor the wherewithal to moderate children's behaviour.

We therefore appeal to the government and all stakeholders involved, to exercise caution and follow the science of the disease as established, to avoid exposing the population to large-scale Covid-19 infections; let us not find ourselves in the situation of countries like Israel and South Africa that have had to reverse their premature school reopening, due to severe spikes in infection amongst the pupils, staff and their families. We urge that opening of schools be delayed for a few more weeks to see our Covid-19 epidemic peak and begin to reverse, before embarking on any school reopening plans, even for graduating classes. This is current global best practice.


It is our belief that graduating students can still get back on track with their future careers by taking their examinations just ahead of general school reopening, when the epidemic curve might have flattened, and it is much safer to resume classes.



Abubakar Siddique Mohammed




Atedo N. A. Peterside CON     



The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank was established on 22 March, 2020, to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic and has 18 members drawn from across the six geopolitical zones and the diaspora (Germany & USA). 

For more information on the Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank, please visit

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