The Lagos State government has sealed off no fewer than five private primary and secondary schools allegedly caught holding physical lessons within their premises with students on mufti.
Recall that the Federal and State Governments closed down all public and private schools at all levels nationwide since March and asked students to stay and study at home indefinitely as a way of curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the death of many people.
Recall also that in Lagos State, the Office of Education Quality Assurance under the state Ministry of Education vowed to heavily sanction any school found within the state disobeying the directive and because of this, has been going around the state monitoring the level of compliance, especially among the private schools.
The Director-General of the office, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, who earlier gave the warning, confirmed the discovery of some schools defiant to the directive by the monitoring and investigations team from her office in the last two weeks.
She said it is worrisome that some schools are still not totally compliant to the government directive despite the rising cases of COVID-19 infected persons and deaths in the state and the country at large.
She stated the State Government will publicly announce the name of the school and their penalties will also be announced to them as soon as possible.
Even as her office has entered the second phase of the monitoring exercise, reliable sources said Lagos State government allegedly caught about five schools so far defying the COVID-19 lockdown order.
One of the schools with government’s COVID-19 sticker pasted on their entrance, according to sources, is at Abule Taylor and another at U-Turn, and yet another, at Pleasure, Oke-Odo, all around Abule-Egba axis, and Ojota.
While Mrs Seriki-Ayeni, however, noted that the monitoring team from her office will cover all the six educational districts of the state, she pointed out that since the approval of many private schools is provisional, their non-compliance to government directives may lead to the closure of such schools even after general reopening.
She, therefore, urged school owners cajoling students/pupils to come to school under whatever guise to desist from such act as coming together physically for lessons at this time portends a great health risk for both the students\teachers and the larger society.