· Excludes pre-primary school classes from resumption
Segun James in Lagos
The Lagos State Government yesterday directed basic and secondary schools to reopen, although with a note of caution to private proprietors and public administrators.
Likewise, the state government eased the restrictions on houses of worships, permitting observation of daily prayers in mosques and granting mid-week services in churches.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave these directives during at a session with journalist yesterday
In its directive, however, the state government did not approve the resumption of all pre-primary school classes, including nursery, day-care centres and kindergarten, in both public and private schools are not permitted to open.
He ordered the resumption of all public and private schools from September 21, 2020, but only pupils in Junior Secondary School Three (JSS 3) and Senior Secondary School Two (SSS 2) are allowed to resume for physical classes in public schools.
He said the public schools’ resumption would allow the JSS 3 pupils to revise and prepare for Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) slated for October 12.
Pupils in SSS 2, according to the governor, will use the period to prepare for their transitional exams to SSS 3.
Unlike the resumption schedule for the public schools, the governor permitted all levels of class in private schools to resume, but with strong advice to private school owners to consider implementing a staggered daily resumption schedule and classes on alternate days during the week.
But all pre-primary school classes, including nursery, day-care centres and kindergarten, in both public and private schools are not permitted to open.
Sanwo-Olu said: “It has become necessary to issue clarifications regarding the resumption of schools, in order to clear any confusion that may have arisen since the resumption date was announced.
“Public Schools will adopt a phased protocol for resumption of physical classes. Students in JSS 3 and SSS 2 in public schools in Lagos are to resume physical classes from September 21.
“In the same vein, all private primary and secondary schools are permitted to resume from September 21. We have strongly advised school owners and managers to put safety first and open in phases similar to the announced schedule for public schools.
“School owners and managers are advised to seriously consider implementing a staggered daily resumption schedule, classes on alternate days during the week, and utilization of distance learning methods as a complement to physical classes.
“All pre-primary – nursery, day-care and kindergarten – classes and schools in both public and private schools must remain closed.”
The governor said all re-opened schools must comply with safety protocols and hygiene guidelines as instructed by the State Government through the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA).
He said the department would monitor and evaluate schools’ preparedness.
He said: “For all other public school classes in primary school and JSS 1, JSS 2, and SSS 1, announcements for resumption will be made as soon as the state government is satisfied that all necessary resumption protocols have been put in place.
“In the meantime, these yet-to-resume classes in public schools are expected to continue their lessons on our various distance learning platforms (online, radio, television and WhatsApp) pending the announcement of dates for physical resumption.”
On worship service, Sanwo-Olu said: “As regards our places of worship, we are now permitting the mosques to resume their five times a day prayers. In the case of churches, they are now also permitted to resume their mid-week services.
“We must not forget that the Coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritise the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society.”