The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, at the weekend ruled out immediate reopening of schools, which were closed by the government following the flood disaster.

Dickson, who spoke in a media chat in Yenagoa, said there was a need to protect children from water borne diseases.

But the governor assured the people of the state that the schools would not be closed for too long following the flood assessment reports by a committee led by the Commissioner for Education, Jonathan Obuebite.

He said the Ministry of Education was working to mitigate the negative impact of the closure on the overall performance of students in the forthcoming West African Examination Council (WAEC).

The governor noted that while the flood started to recede, government was more concerned about the health and safety of the children.

He said that the government was taking steps to ensure proper sanitation of all the schools including the ones that were converted to camps for displaced persons before children were allowed into them.

He said: “We ordered a forced closure of all schools about a month ago to ensure the safety of the children. But now that the flood is receding, we will do everything possible to make our schools habitable before announcing the resumption of schools.

“But let me assure you that, that will not be too long from now. The State Ministry of Education is monitoring the water level and making daily reports to me. We are not in a hurry to push children who are vulnerable to harm’s way.

“On the issue of the performance of our students in national examinations, I want to assure you that government will encourage all schools to make some adjustments to enable them to make up for lost time”.

The governor, who commended the flood victims for their resilience said the government would do its best to ameliorate the plight of displaced persons and ensure their resettlement into their communities

He called for collaboration in proffering long term solutions to address the flood issue through the dredging of the major rivers, tributaries, shore protection as well as construction of sea walls and shelters.

Dickson also offered automatic employment to all indigenes of the state,mwho graduated with first class in their respective areas of studies.

He called on such graduates, who did not pick the employment forms for the 1000 vacancies announced earlier by the government, to approach the civil service commission for enrollment into the service.

He explained that the automatic employment of first class graduates would be in addition to the 1000 graduates awaiting oral interview to be conducted by the Civil Service Commission.

He explained that his desire to bequeathed a vibrant and productive civil servant inspired the decision to engage all first class graduates in the state.

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