Large turnout as students resume in Lagos

• Safety guidelines in place

There was a large turnout of students in Lagos State on Monday as students in state-owned schools at secondary and tertiary levels, as well as those in private schools from primary to secondary schools, have resumed for the 2020\2021 academic activities, six months after general school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Majority of the teachers and other school workers are also back at their duty posts.

It was observed that both the public and private schools concerned under the reopening directive and for certain categories of students have not only opened their doors but already commenced academic activities.

It was also observed that they had health and safety rules and measures as stipulated by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in place.

For example, at the entrance gates of many schools were banners conspicuously mounted and they made wearing of nose masks mandatory for entry.

In some others, there were additional enlightenment banners about COVID-19 pandemic and safety measures to be taken.

It was equally observed that infrared thermometers were used at the gate to check the temperature of students and staff before they were allowed in, while handwashing facilities, including sanitisers, were provided within their premises.

Some of the schools visited by Tribune Online include Ijaiye Ojokoro Senior College, Ijaiye Housing Estate Secondary Grammar School, both in Ojokoro area; Government Senior Secondary School, Iyana Ipaja; Vetland Grammar School, Agege and Immaculate Academy Ojokoro, among others.

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All state-owned tertiary schools, including the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo and the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, among others, where workers in protest disrupted resumption last Monday over unresolved issues with the government have also reopened for students in terminal classes.

Reacting to the large turnout of students, the head of Information, Press and Public Affairs of the Lagos State University(LASU), Ojo, Mr Ademola Adekoya; the chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Lagos State chapter, Mr Adesina Adedoyin and that of the League of Muslim School Proprietors (LEAMSP), Mr Fatai Raheem; the president of National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools(NAPPS), Lagos State chapter, Mr Olawale Mohammed and the president of National Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED), Mr Orji Kanu, described the turnout as impressive.

They attributed the development to two important factors, which according to them, are the students’ eagerness to return to school having stayed at home for half a year and also for the high media publicity given to the resumption.

They said though, not all students expected had resumed, others would certainly join before the end of the week.

LASU’s Adekoya gave students turn out to be about 70 per cent while NUT’s Adedoyin said they would be up to 85 per cent across the state.

On the part of private schools, NAPPS said though the accurate figure was yet to be collated as of the time of filing this report, students’ turnout would up to 65 per cent on the average while LEAMPS quoted up to 80 per cent and AFED 55 per cent in their respective member schools.

They said the turnout was a reflection of the usual school resumption days in the country as some students, no matter what would not resume until a few days after the resumption.

On their workers, especially teachers, who they were unable to pay salaries during the period of lockdown due to no money, they said almost all of them had returned to work.

They said they would certainly take their welfare as first priority so as to show appreciation for their loyalty and commitment and also to boost their morale for future service delivery.

They, however, noted that their academic plans were to first do a revision for their students within two weeks on the 2019\2020 third term curriculum and then evaluate them before promoting those deserving ones among them to the next class for immediate commencement of the 2020\2021 academic activities.

NAPPS’ boss said the idea was to prevent automatic promotion that would create undue learning vacuum and the production of half-baked learners.

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