Schools’ resumption: Lagos plans staggered classes

The Lagos State government has said part of its plans and considerations to reopen schools which are shut is to maintain staggered classes for students.

Recall that schools have being shut down since March because of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The govt said it’s looking in that direction, among others in order to ensure social and physical distancing principle to curtail the spread of COVID-19 is applied and implemented, especially in public schools with most classrooms overcrowded.

The state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, gave this hint on Tuesday at a ministerial press briefing where she presented a year activities of her ministry to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu which came on board in May 2019.

The event was held at JJT Park at Alausa with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab; the permanent secretary of the ministry, Mrs Abosede Adelaja and the Chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), Mr Wahab Alawiye-King and others in attendance.

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Speaking further, the commissioner said though, Lagos State is waiting for federal government directive for schools’ reopening at appropriate time nationwide, the state government, on its part, is working on the modalities to adopt to ensure effective teaching and in safe environment guaranteed in schools once students are asked to resume.

“So, we may not likely have all the students to be in schools every day or to be in class at the same time. By this, we will spread them and yet, that will not stop their learning even at home. We know that many of our classrooms are truly overcrowded and we are working to ensure all precautionary measures including social distancing are in practice in our schools,” she said.

Adefisayo, while acknowledging what she called strong contributions of private schools to education development in the state, said not only will the government would register many more private schools next academic session to expand students’ enrollment, it would also continue to seek their inputs on policies that concerned them.

Giving a one-year scorecard of her ministry, Adefisayo listed the construction of three blocks of 54 classrooms in four secondary schools, the commencement of delivery of 10, 164 tables and chairs to primary and junior secondary schools, training of 4, 400 teachers, recruitment of 2, 000 and 1, 000 teachers into primary and secondary schools respectively; students and teachers winning local and international laurels including National Robot Olympiad; Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS) competitions, President’s Teachers and School Excellence Award; enrollment of 45, 442 students for WASSC exam; payment of N778.7m monthly salary to pensioners; training of 33 private school teachers on instructional materials and so forth.

She, however, said though the 2020 allocation to the sector from the state budget would be reduced due to COVID-19 pandemic from N133.5 billion to a yet-to-be approved amount, the ministry would do better in the current year than the one reviewed.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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