Sanwo-Olu orders full opening of churches, mosques

•Speaks on resumption of schools, bars, event centres

Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has given go-ahead to churches and mosques in the state to resume full services, saying that mosques can now hold their prayers five times daily while churches can also commence weekly services.

The governor gave these directives on Saturday while giving an update on the fight against  COVID-19 at a press briefing he addressed at the State House in Marina.

“As regards our places of worship, we are now also permitting the mosques to resume their five times a day prayers; and in the case of churches, they are now also permitted to resume their mid-week services.

“We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must, therefore, strive to prioritise the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society,” he said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, while giving clarification on school resumption, said students in JS 3 and SS 2 in public schools in the state are to resume physical classes from Monday the 21st of September, 2020. 

According to him, this resumption will allow the JS 3 students to adequately revise and prepare for their forthcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) organised by the Lagos State Examination Board, and scheduled for Tuesday, 6th October until Monday, 12th of October, 2020. 

He said the resumption would also afford the present SS 2 students an opportunity to prepare effectively for their transition to SS 3, noting that the scheduled dates and venues for entrance examination into the State Model Colleges would be announced in due course by the Lagos State Examination Board.

Speaking further, Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that announcements for resumption would be made in respect of all other public-school classes, including all primary school classes, and JS 1, JS 2, and SS 1, as soon as the state government was satisfied that all necessary resumption protocols had been put in place. 

“In the meantime, these yet-to-resume classes in public schools are expected to continue their lessons on our various distance learning platforms (online, radio, television and WhatsApp) pending the announcement of dates for physical resumption.

“To recap, only JS 3 and SS 2 students of public schools in Lagos State are to resume on Monday September 21, 2020, as WASC examinations ended on September 12, 2020.

“For private schools in Lagos State, all private primary and secondary schools are permitted to resume from Monday, 21st of September, 2020. 

“We have strongly advised school owners and managers to put safety first and open in phases similar to the announced schedule for public schools.

“We have also advised private primary and secondary school owners and managers to seriously consider implementing a staggered daily resumption schedule, classes on alternate days during the week, and utilisation of distance learning methods as a complement to physical classes. 

“All private primary and secondary schools are also expected to comply with safety protocols and hygiene guidelines as instructed by the State Government through the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA). 

“The Office of Education Quality Assurance will continue to monitor and evaluate Schools’ preparedness. If, however, any teacher or school head notices any pupil is ill, he or she should isolate such a pupil in a safe and secured room pending when the appropriate health authorities are contacted,” the governor said.

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Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu said all Pre-Primary – Nursery, Daycare Centers and Kindergarten – Classes and Schools in both Public and Private schools will remain closed until further announcements are made by the state government. 

He said all the affected pupils must, therefore, “remain at home until further notice, and continue to receive their lessons by virtual means.”

On cinemas, gyms, among others, the governor said that the decision to reopen them would be made known next month, declaring that they all remain closed for now. 

“Next month, October, we will announce the decisions regarding the reopening of other sectors of the economy: night-clubs, bars, event centres, spas, public parks and so on. For now, these will continue to remain closed, until fixed plans for reopening are announced in October,” he said.

“Henceforth, cinemas and gyms are permitted to reopen as soon as possible, with a maximum of thirty-three per cent (33%) occupancy, which means that there must be a minimum of two empty seats between occupied seats; and in the case of gyms, there must be constant disinfection of machines and equipment throughout the course of the day,” he added.



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