By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State government has announced that only JSS3 and SS2 students will be allowed to resume school from Monday, September 21, 2020.
The Commissioner for Education in Lagos State, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday through the Head, Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Mr Kayode Abayomi, while revealing plans for a new 2020/2021 academic session resumption for public and private schools.
She said that the state would adopt a phased approach in opening public schools and congratulated the SS3 students for successfully completing their WASSCE exams and urge them to stay safe as they wait for their results.
For public schools, Mrs Adefisayo stated that the phased approach to opening will enable students of state-owned schools to meet COVID-19 social distancing rules and safety protocols which will help watch the behaviour of the pandemic as the state embarks on a gradual opening of schools.
“The present JSS3 and SS2 students in public schools in the state are to resume classes from Monday, September 21, 2020.” the Commissioner was quoted as saying in the statement.
She explained that the resumption will permit the present JSS3 students, who are already in an exiting class, to revise and get adequately prepared for their forthcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) organised by the Lagos State Examination Board from October 6 to 12, 2020.
The BECE had earlier been suspended by the state government but appears has not returned to schedule.
On the part of resumption for second-year senior secondary school students, the resumption will also afford the students an opportunity to prepare effectively for their transition to SS3.
It was noted that the scheduled dates and venues for entrance examination into Lagos State Model Colleges will soon be announced by the state examination board.
The Commissioner assured parents that announcements for opening the other classes will occur as soon as the state is certain of their safety.
Before then, “the unopened classes in public schools will continue their lessons on our various distance learning platforms (online platform, radio, television and WhatsApp) while the next phase for physical resumption will be announced in due course.”
For private schools, the Commissioner said those in primary and secondary categories in the state are allowed to resume on Monday, September 21, 2020.
She added that the state government strongly recommends and encourages school owners to put safety first and open in phases similar to the plans for public schools.
The phased opening includes strategies for staggered resumption in the mornings, classes on alternate days during the week, and teaching through various distance learning methods.
“Schools must also comply with safety protocols and hygiene guidelines as instructed by the State Government through the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA).
“The Office of Education Quality Assurance will continue to monitor and evaluate schools’ preparedness,” she said.
The Commissioner emphasised that “pre-primary classes and schools in both public and private schools will remain closed until further announcements are made.”
She reminded schools that the pandemic is still around and so in all situations ensure the safety of children, teachers, and parents as a whole the first priority.
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