Students are to return to school on Monday after an enforced summer break because of Ebola, but with lingering fears about the virus and calls for a further delay by a major teachers’ union.
Last month the government postponed resumption of classes at all public and private schools until October 13. But as the rate of confirmed cases began to slow, ministers brought forward the start of term to September 22.
There have now been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Nigeria for 10 days, although some 350 people remain under watch for symptoms of the virus in the financial capital, Lagos, and oil city of Port Harcourt.
Yet concerns remain about the disease — spread through close contact with bodily fluids of a person displaying symptoms — which has claimed more than 2,630 lives in West Africa this year.
Nigeria‘s largest teachers’ union said it was still too soon to start classes and called on its members to stay away from work. President Goodluck Jonathan has said the order was “uncalled for”.
“The safety measures to contain the spread of Ebola have not been put in place,” the head of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Michael Olukoya, told AFP.