Low turnout as students resume in Lagos

•NUT, school owners, parents react

There was a low turnout of students in Lagos schools on Tuesday as the students in primary and secondary schools in the state have been directed to resume for the 2021\2022 second term academic activities after observing two-week Christmas and New Year holidays.

Tribune Online visited some schools in Ifako-Ijaiye and Agege local government areas of the state. It was observed that while public schools in the axis with teachers on the ground have opened their doors and preparing for academic activities, some of the private schools are yet to reopen let alone welcome their students back.

Low turnout as students resume in Lagos
Cross section of students Of Ojodu Junior High School, Ikeja, on the assembly ground, on Tuesday. Photo: Ministry of Education

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; Dayem Primary School, as well as the Immaculate Secondary School, among others.

Reacting to the low turnout of students, the chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Lagos State chapter, Mr. Akintoye Hassan and the immediate past chairman of the League of Muslim School Proprietors (LEAMSP), Mr. Fatai Raheem, as well as the President of Association of Formidable Educational Development (AFED), Mr. Orji Kanu, said the low turnout was not strange in every resumption day, particularly at the beginning of a new year.

They said the trend had always been in that manner with few students usually turn-up in schools in the first few days of resumption particularly during festive holidays as it is always difficult to disengage children from festive mood.

They added that apart from that, some students had also followed their parents to their villages and towns to meet grannies and grandpas and yet to return to Lagos, their base, citing the self-employed parents, who usually observe their vacations during festive periods as a reference.

They said the students resuming would certainly be increasing in number on daily basis until next week when they are all expected to be fully back to school.

NUT boss said it was not that the Lagos State government is not familiar with this trend but believes that if students are directed to resume in the first week of a New Year like this, all students would have probably been ready for resumption by the second week.

“And that will prevent the state from losing any tangible period that should have been used for academic activities,” he stressed.

Some parents, however, told Tribune Online that they don’t need to rush their children to resume more so that their mates in many other states, especially Oyo, Ogun, and Kwara, and those attending federal government colleges are still on holiday till next Monday.

They said they quite believe that their children are not lagging behind in the coverage of their terminal syllabus and therefore no need for rushing.

Meanwhile, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, and some other top officials from the ministry and its agencies including the Executive Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB), Mr Wahab Alawiye-King were reported to have moved around some public schools in the state including Ojodu Junior High School to welcome the students back to schools.

The head of the public affairs unit of the ministry, Mr. Ganiu Lawal, made this known on the official Instagram page of the ministry posted around 3.00 pm on Tuesday with no further details.

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