The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo has expressed dismay over a publication being circulated in some sections of the media (not THISDAY) regarding the admission of under-aged pupils into Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) in the state.
Adefisayo in a statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs Unit, Ministry of Education, Mr. Kaylee Abayomi and made available to THISDAY, said the ministry has indeed received concerns from various stakeholders regarding the subject, adding that though meetings have been held with various stakeholders; and correspondence and minutes exchanged, no decision has been made and no circular has been put out for implementation.
“It is pertinent to state that the subject was already under review in the ministry of education and has been a matter of great concern to the administration.”
She stated that the expected years of schooling at each level of education are entrenched in the National Policy on Education (NPE), adding that the adverse effects of non-completion of the primary school curriculum and being rushed into junior secondary school before physical, mental, emotional and social maturity of children is well-researched and documented.
“Education is not only cognitive; other aspects must also be given due attention and consideration in order to produce a whole and functional youth who will be able to function effectively in the 21st century.”
The commissioner said meetings already scheduled with various categories of stakeholders such as executives of private schools’ associations and parent bodies, Office of Education Quality Assurance, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Lagos State Examination Board, All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), among others, which is in furtherance of the administration’s spirit of inclusivity and wide consultation, had to be postponed due to the exigencies of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The meetings were proposed to enable the state government solicit the cooperation and participation of all stakeholders in the rigorous implementation of the National Policy on Education in the state.
“The public is hereby assured that as soon as normalcy returns, these meetings will be held and details of the state’s final position on the matter will be made available to all stakeholders, both digitally (online) and in hard copy through our media platforms,” Adefisayo said.
She also emphasised the importance of not putting the cart before the horse, adding, “as mentioned, there have been outlined concerns on this matter and all issues raised will be discussed and follow proper due process before implementation.”