By Obiamaka Chiaka
Following reports that some private schools in Lagos state may be resuming come May 27, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo has reinstated that all schools in the state remain closed till further notice.
Recall that schools across the federation including Lagos State were shut down indefinitely due to the ravaging global pandemic , COVID-19.
In a statement, Lagos state Commissioner for Education directed that school administrators and parents should dialogue on ways to improve e-learning processes of pupils and students while the lockdown lasts.
Mrs Folasade Adefisayo disclosed that “The attention of the Lagos State Ministry of Education has been drawn to plans by some private schools in the State to resume academic activities for the third term of the 2019/20 session by online teaching. This is with effect from Monday, 27th April, 2020.
“As we are already aware, the State is presently on lockdown imposed by the Federal Government over the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry regards the “resumption” by schools as a strategy for ensuring that students continue to learn while the school calendar continues as planned. Please, note that the third term resumption remains postponed until directives to the contrary.”
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On the affordability of the online lessons, she pointed out that “Most schools are charging for this online service; often at a discount on existing tuition fees while some schools are charging full fees.
“Parents are concerned about the cost to them of this programme, ranging from fees charged by schools to cost of data and devices as well as the cost of fuelling generators to ensure steady electricity power supply. Parents also have to supervise online teachings to guard against the exposure of children to pornography, in addition to online harassment and bullying.
“The Ministry calls for continuous dialogue between school administrators and parents. We are aware that most parents are not working and earning money at the moment. We are also aware that schools continue to incur costs as teachers and other members of the staff have to be paid for providing online teaching. Furthermore, the schools, in some cases, will have to purchase devices for teachers and provide them with data to prepare for the daily teaching activities.” She said.
“In view of the aforementioned, we ask that schools consult extensively with parents and find a win-win solution that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.
The Ministry wishes to state categorically that all schools in Lagos State remain closed and have not yet been opened for the third term. The State continues to offer free teachings on various media, especially radio and television. It will continue to improve on the educational offering of its distance learning programmes. We are pleased that students and pupils across private and public schools are taking advantage of this free service. Plans are also underway to ensure that our children in public schools are able to complete their term whenever the lockdown is lifted.”Mrs Adefisayo explained.