The Lagos State Government has denied the report of a threat to seal up schools that failed to resume on January 4 as directed, saying it would rather deploy dialogue than force.
The Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) unit of the state’s ministry of education, in a statement issued on Sunday, said 640 schools out of 720 visited by its inspectors complied with the directive.
According to the statement, which was signed by the spokesperson for the office, Emmanuel Olaniran, and a copy of which was obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the official noted that the percentage of those who complied with the directive stands at 89 per cent.
The OEQA director general, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, commended the schools that complied with the directive, saying the measure was simply aimed at regulating the state’s school calendar and recovering the lost ground that was occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
She said only 80 schools of the 720 visited could not reopen as instructed, adding that clamping down on them “would be counter-productive to learning.”
“Rather than that, the OEQA only issued letters and placed stickers of non-compliance on the gates of schools that disobeyed the directive,” the statement said.
The director general, who said the directive for public and private schools to maintain a uniform calendar was not new, noted that it had been the tradition for many years.
She said the renewed enforcement was imperative because of the interruptions to school calendar occasioned by COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdowns.
Mrs Seriki-Ayeni also clarified that in June 2021, there were meetings between representatives of the government, private school proprietors, private school associations, and other relevant education stakeholders where it was agreed that the January 4 date would be adhered to.
The OEQA boss implored public and private school administrators to work with families to ensure that children are in school and start the new term on a sound note.
“Just like we have always done in the past, the state government expects compliance and will continue to dialogue with all schools on matters relating to the progress of education in the State,” Mrs Seriki-Ayeni said.
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