Lagos Asks Private Schools Not to Resume Academic Activities

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Folasade Adefisayo

Segun James

Lagos State Government has warned private schools in the state not to resume academic activities, adding that they will face the full wrath of government if they do.

The state Ministry of Education in statement personally signed by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, said the third term resumption remains postponed until directives to the contrary.

According to her, “The attention of the government has been drawn to the plans by some private schools in the state to resume academic activities for the third term of the 2019/20 session by online teaching. This is with effect from April 27, 2020.

“As we are already aware, the state is presently on lockdown imposed by the federal government over the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry regards the ‘resumption’ by schools as a strategy for ensuring that students continue to learn while the school calendar continues as planned.

“Most schools are charging for this online service; often at a discount on existing tuition fees while some schools are charging full fees.”

Adefisayo said parents are concerned about the cost to them of this programme, ranging from fees charged by schools to cost of data and devices as well as the cost of fuelling generators to ensure steady electricity power supply.

“Parents also have to supervise online teachings to guard against the exposure of children to pornography in addition to online harassment and bullying,” she added.

The ministry called for continuous dialogue between school administrators and parents. “We are aware that most parents are not working and earning money at the moment. We are also aware that schools continue to incur costs as teachers and other members of the staff have to be paid for providing online teaching.

“Furthermore, the schools, in some cases, will have to purchase devices for teachers and provide them with data to prepare for the daily teaching activities.

“In view of the aforementioned, we ask that schools consult extensively with parents and find a win-win solution that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.

“The ministry wishes to state categorically that all schools in Lagos State remain closed and have not yet been opened for the third term. The state continues to offer free teachings on various media, especially radio and television. It will continue to improve on the educational offering of its distance learning programmes. We are pleased that students and pupils across private and public schools are taking advantage of this free service. Plans are also underway to ensure that our children in public schools are able to complete their term whenever the lockdown is lifted,” the commissioner said.