The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, in a bid to ensure that administrators, teachers and students comply with the COVID-19 protocols upon resumption for the Second Term Y2020/2021 academic session on Monday, paid an unscheduled visit to some schools across the State.
The Commissioner led a monitoring team to assess the process in which the students were received, ensuring that COVID-19 protocols were strictly adhered to in order to curb the spread of the disease.
Addressing pressmen during an interview after her tour to various schools, Mrs. Adefisayo expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance of the schools, adding that the State Government is very concerned about the safety of students and their teachers.
The Commissioner declared that the wellbeing of students, teachers and support staff is of utmost importance to the State government, which necessitated the unscheduled visit to the schools to determine how learning and teaching practice was being managed amidst the pandemic.
She decried the noticeable trend where some students are already roaming the streets and gradually losing interest in learning, which is very detrimental to their growth, stressing that the reopening of schools has been a very difficult decision amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as most vulnerable children are really going through a tough time.
“Many have already been put to work, doing jobs like mechanic, bus conductor, hawking on the streets, thereby exposing themselves to societal ills rather than being in schools which is a safer environment”, she noted.
She maintained that the “No face mask, No entry” slogan should be enforced in every school, adding that the usual morning assembly and sporting activities have been suspended till further notice, just as the Office of Education Quality Assurance will always visit schools to ensure full adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines.
The Commissioner also revealed that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Tutor-Generals/Permanent Secretaries of the Six Education Districts, Office of Education Quality Assurance and other top officials of the Ministry were also on the field across the State to ensure that maximum compliance and coordination is achieved.
Also speaking during the exercise, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja, appreciated the resilience and steadfastness of the teachers during this trying period and urged them to monitor their health, while taking up the role of enforcement and compliance with the COVID-19 protocols by students.
Noting that the bulk of the efforts lie in the teachers’ hands as they are the custodians of the students during the school period, Mrs. Adelaja advised the school administrators to regularly monitor their teachers and students closely, stressing that the State Government has invested enormously in the Education Sector and they owe it a duty to produce excellent students in academics and conduct.
She opined that parents/guardians are also saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the children/wards closely as their roles are germane and complimentary at this period, saying “All hands must be on deck to curb the spread of the pandemic. The government will not relent in its efforts to fight the virus and subdue it to the barest minimum”.
The Permanent Secretary revealed that the State Government has provided free face masks for all students, in addition to a clean and conducive environment for learning, while the Government has also installed facilities such as wash hand basins and potable water in all public schools.