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Schools reopen in Lagos with low students’ turnout

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The anticipated return of traffic to Lagos roads after the yuletide lull was expected to come on stream yesterday on the first Monday of the year with the resumption of schools in the state, but that was not the case as the morning still wore the festive season and by midday, children were seen roaming and playing around the neighbourhood.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo, had yesterday welcomed students of both public and private schools as they return to school for the second term if the 2019/2020 academic session.

In a statement issued on behalf of the commissioner by the Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, clarified that private schools and public senior secondary schools will resume on January 6, while all public primary school students are expected to return for classes on January 20.

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But The Guardian observed yesterday that it was a partial resumption with low turnout of students as most of the schools were opened but with fewer pupils. Also, many students were seen loitering around their school area, without gong into their school.

At Okota and Ilasamaja, few students showed up at Ire-Akari Senior Grammar School, Eko Junior Grammar school, Okota Junior High School, Kusoru Grammar School, Olokun Primary School, Ijeshatedo Grammar School, and Ajumoni Senior Grammar School.

Alozie Ojukwu of Okota Junior High School, said: “Many students prefer staying at home on the first day of resumption because they don’t want to work and it is a norm that classes don’t hold.

Pupils resume for second term of 2019/2020 academic session yesterday across Lagos


However, another resident at Okota, who pleaded anonymity, believes that most people have not come back from the yuletide travel they made during the festive season and the fear of the cost of school fees is the main reason students are not in school despite resumption.

Ansur-Un-Deen Comprehensive High School and Okota Senior High School were the only schools that held assemblies yesterday at 8:00p.m.

Along Paul Okuntola, Idi-Araba, Surulere and Ojuelegba, students were seen roaming the streets with their uniforms on during school hours. Some left home but didn’t get to school. They were spotted at game houses, canteens, fun spots and sports centres.

A resident of No. 22, Anjorin Street, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, told our correspondent: “Many of these children will only leave home but won’t go to school. You can see many of them playing around the street. That is why I told my children to stay at home. They won’t be going to school until the coming week when academic activities will fully begin.”

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Similarly, at Euba secondary school, teachers lamented the hooliganism practiced by students at every first week of resumption and end of session respectively. A teacher who pleaded for anonymity said this first week and last week of the term are usually periods when some of the senior students try to act funny and carry out some brigandage and violence.

At Mazim private school, Ilasa, both teachers and students resumed fully. A teacher explained that the low resumption of pupils was caused by the yuletide lull. “Our school resume fully today after the three weeks holiday. We expected a full house today and that pupil would be more than this, but due to the yuletide lull, more students are yet to resume. However, we would be taking off with our academic calendar and schedule of instruction.”

Mrs. Salaudeen, representing the Head Teacher of Al-Mubarak Nursery and Primary School, told our correspondent: “We have resume here fully but our students have not yet resume fully. Hopefully next week, more students would resume. But we are commencing with our continuous assessment immediately.”

For Mrs. Nwankwo Stella, a chemistry teacher at Atunrase Secondary School, Mushin, the lull in resumption is due to the diversity in the resumption date of various schools. “My children in private school will be resuming on January 12, and government primary school teachers will be resuming on January 20 due to the computer training they are undergoing, so students are not excited and enthusiastic yet about resuming.”

Mrs. Lilian Onyeje, a teacher in Saint Joseph Senior Secondary School said some parents instructed their children not to go to school today because they feel nothing much will be done on resumption day and the first week of resumption.

However, Mrs. A.O. Babalola, the principal of Atunrase Senior Secondary School said the school has fully resumed and that necessary clean ups were being carried out by the available students to keep the school in a conducive and appropriate learning ambiance. She also said that students were seated in their classes awaiting their various subject teachers.

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A student of Saint Joseph, Onyeniye Esther, said she is excited about school resumption and that is why she came to school early to join in the cleanup and to get her class ready for learning.

Meanwhile, tough times await thousands of parents and guardians in Rivers State, whose children and wards attend any of the 437 private schools banned by the Rivers Government, through State Ministry of Education from resuming for the second term 2019/2020 academic session on January 6.

Ahead of the resumption, the Rivers government had banned 437 unaccredited and unapproved private schools from reopening for next Academic session and also to cease operating in the state.

Our correspondent who has been following the event reports that if the state government goes ahead with its threat, most students and pupils will be forced out of school due to the inability to secure admission and few schools available to absorb children to be displaced from schools.

The affected 437 schools did not scale through the laid out criteria set by the State Ministry of Education, which was handed down to the committee led by Prof. Ozo Mekuri Ndimele, the Vice-Chancellor of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, to screen, accredit and approve schools to operate.

After the screening exercise, the committee had in its report denied accreditation/approval to 437 schools, which did not meet set requirements for the operations of private schools, a move designed to improve quality education in the state. The state now insists that unapproved schools remain banned and should not operate.

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