The Lagos State Ministry of Education has warned private schools in the state to shun the idea of resuming for the third term academic session until the lockdown period is over.
Recall that the state government had on March 18 ordered public and private schools in the state to close down from March 23, as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, in a statement on Thursday, said all private and public schools in the state would remain closed to protect pupils from the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adefisayo noted that the state government would intensify efforts in the ongoing free teachings on various media, especially radio and television, rather than reopening schools and endangering the lives of pupils.
The Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, who disclosed the government’s stance on the reopening of schools for the third-term academic session, urged proprietors aiming to commence academic session for third-term amid the COVID-19 outbreak to abandon the plans.
She said, “The attention of the Lagos State Ministry of Education 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 Monday, April 27, 2020.
“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.
“Plans are also underway to ensure that our children in public schools are able to complete their term whenever the lockdown is lifted.”
Adefisayo appealed to the proprietors to persevere and adopt the online teaching strategy to keep their students busy while staying at home to avoid contracting COVID-19.
The Commissioner disclosed that some secondary schools in the state have commenced online teaching to engage their students charging discounted tuition fees, while some schools were charging full tuition rates.
“Parents are concerned about the cost of this programme, ranging from fees charged by schools to the 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”, Adefisayo said.
The Commissioner for Education called for a continuous dialogue between school administrators and parents to seek ways to resolve issues related to the inability of parents to earn income during this period, the need for schools to pay their personnel who provide online teaching as well as the purchase of devices for teachers, including the provision of 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,” she added.