The Lagos State Government on Wednesday read the riot act to private schools to comply with both the Federal Government and state health and safety measures ahead of the resumption of SS3 students on Monday, August 3, 2020.
Issuing the read riot act at Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, the Director General, Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni said schools were closed because of the risk and danger it poses to the health and safety of pupils, teachers and school administrators.
She said since the closure of schools, OEQA embarked on massive sensitisation to ensure that 20,000 public and private schools adhere strictly to the directive of Lagos State government.
According to her, the monitoring and enforcement exercise by OEQA will continue to ensure strict compliance by private schools to the directive of Lagos State to protect pupils and teachers from ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
”The Lagos State Government, Office of Education QualityAssurance is releasing guidelines for the safer reopening of schools and learning facilities to safeguard pupils, teachers, workers and parents. The OEQA evaluators will visit private schools across the six Education Districts to ensure compliance.”
Among the released guidelines include fumigation of schools environment including classrooms, chairs and desk, provision of running water and washing hand soap, provision of hand sanitizer, wearing of face mask, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, maintaining social distance, daily screening for body temperature on entry the school and boarding schools to extend these measures to residential facilities, lecture halls and laboratories .
Seriki-Ayeni warned that it is mandatory for private school owners in Lagos State (registered or unregistered) to register with OEQA before reopening of schools and urged school owners to visit:www.oeqalagos.com to register their schools.
”School owners are advised to strictly comply with this directive that will be of immense benefit to them. Evaluators will be out to monitor compliance after the expiration of the timeline guaranteed, ” she warned.
The director general of OEQA warned that any private schools that failed to register and pick up the assessment form will be sanctioned but stressed that SS3 students will not be prevented from writing the West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE) on account of the proprietor failing to comply.
She confirmed that eight private schools were recently sealed and awaiting sanction after the conclusion of the 5th phase enforcement exercise embarked on by the monitoring and investigation team of the agency.
The OEQA boss said these schools were found in Odogunyan, Abule Ijesha, Kirikiri Industrial Estate, Apapa and Okokomaiko. She said the eight schools violated the close down directive.
Seriki-Ayeni said during the first and second phase of OEQA monitoring exercise, 121 schools across the six education districts were visited while ten private schools that defied the closure directive of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu were sealed.
However, she advised parents to monitor their wards schools and ask questions about safety measures and compliance of government guidelines before releasing their children.