COVID-19: Lagos Assembly expresses concern on over-population of students

Lagos State House of Assembly has expressed worry on overpopulation of students in some of the schools in the state.

The Assembly Committee on Education, which is currently going around some schools in the state to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols ahead of school resumption and for the on-going West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) stated this on Tuesday 1st September.

The first port of call for the committee during the day’s visit was Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Secondary Schools, Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Grammar School, Ojodu Junior High School and Ojodu Junior Grammar School.

The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu told the principals of the school, and the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary of Lagos Education District 6, Mrs Oludara Oyebisi Okelola that there was the need for trend analysis on the admission of students into the schools over the years.

Ogundimu stated that there was a need to have a boundary for the students the schools would admit.

He said that a situation whereby there ought to be 30 students in a class and they are having over 100, then there is a problem, adding that the furniture in the classrooms was also not adequate.

Speaking at Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Secondary School, Ogundimu said that the school authority should be able to do a general cleaning of the school.

He added that there were a lot of cobwebs in the classrooms and that there was no adequate provision for the students to use the toilet urgently.

On furniture, he said that a lot of furniture has broken down and that they needed replacement, saying that the TG/PS, and the Commissioner for Education would work on the issue.

The lawmaker added that they were out to see the facilities in the schools and that there were needs for more teachers and classrooms in the schools visited, adding that the school would be revisited after the renovation.

At Babs Fafunwa Millennium Senior Grammar School, where there were rehabilitation works in most buildings of the school, the lawmaker added that they had seen the facilities and that they agreed that they had done well on providing COVID-19 protocols.

“After reconstruction, you must have someone to be in charge of facilities. Even the furniture has to be monitored and educate the students on the usage.

“You have a shortage of teachers, furniture and you need more classrooms. We will capture them in our reports, schools will resume later this month, and the contractor working on the school promised to deliver in October.

“So, how do you manage this and it is dangerous for the students to stay where construction is going on. I will still discuss with the Commissioner for Education. The safety of the students matters to us and they can play football and be injured. You cannot bring them to where work is going on.

“The refuse management should be effective in all our schools. We must see how to work on that.

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“There is a general arrangement on refuse disposal in schools,” he said.

The committee also visited Omole Senior Grammar School, Ikeja.

During the visit to the school, the committee was told there were shortages of furniture and classrooms.

The committee used the opportunity to do mini-send forth for the principals of the junior and senior arms of the school, Mr Ademola Akinwande and Mrs Patricia Gbadegesin respectively.

Gbadegesin had spent 34 years in service and the committee promised to give her N250,000 and promised to give them commendation letters for their outstanding performances.

The next port of call was Opebi Senior Grammar School, Ikeja.

The Principal of the school, Mrs Kofoworola Olugbewe, revealed that the population of the school is 353 with 56 students writing WASSCE with 12 classrooms.

She disclosed that the school is 40 years old and that it is Like a model school.

The school has facilities of a modern school with an ICT Centre donated by Senator Adeola Olamilekan as well as conducive environments for the students to learn.

Hon. Yinka Ogundimu said that the facilities in place are adequate and the school meets the requirements of the COVID-19 protocol. The school needs to do more in facility management.

Ogundimu thanked the management of the Assembly for making it possible for them to see the facilities in the schools.

He, however, said that the issues of the school could not be taken in isolation and that others schools too have to be considered.

On if the schools in the state were ready for resumptions, he said that the schools were closed because of COVID-19 and that the pandemic is going down, but that the schools’ management should put facilities in place, while the Ministry of Education should work on the readiness of the schools.

The lawmaker added that private schools could only be encouraged to be part of what is happening in public schools.

He said that the House of Assembly would create more awareness on the issue and that people were waiting for what the committee was doing.



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