Resumption: Lagos Denies Plans to Shut Down Schools

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Lagos State government has said it has no plan to shut down schools in the state over non-compliance with the January 4 resumption directive.

It was reported last week that the state government was furious with some schools for disobeying the resumption order, with sanctions threatened.

The issue generated reactions and the Director-General of the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, in a statement on Sunday dismissed the reports, saying such action would be counterproductive.

However, she stressed that most schools complied with the directive as 640 out of the 720 schools visited by officials of OEQA complied with the January 4, 2022, resumption date set by the Lagos State Government, signifying a compliance rate of about 89 per cent.

Mrs Seriki-Ayeni, while commending the schools that adhered to the state’s resumption date, lamented that about 80 schools failed to comply.

She, however, clarified that the government had no plan to seal any schools as this would be counter-productive to learning.

The DG explained that rather, the OEQA only issued letters and placed stickers of non-compliance on the gates of schools that disobeyed the directive.

The OEQA boss clarified that the directive for public and private schools to maintain a uniform calendar was not new as it had been in place for several years. She, however, said the renewed enforcement was imperative because of the interruptions to school days occasioned by COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdowns.

Mrs Seriki-Ayeni recalled that in June 2021 there were meetings between representatives of the State government, private school proprietors, private school associations, and other relevant education stakeholders where it was agreed to ensure that the calendar and the January 4 date would be adhered to.

A statement by the DG on Sunday read in part, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Lagos State Government has not and will not shut down any school, as it would be counter-productive to learning.”

She appealed to public and private school administrators in Lagos State to work with families to ensure that children are in school as expected and start the new term on a sound note.

“Just like we have always done in the past, the state government expects compliance and will continue to dialogue with all schools on matters relating to the progress of education in the state,” Mrs Seriki-Ayeni said.

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