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Lagos schools witness low turnout on resumption

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Many primary and secondary schools in Lagos are taking it easy with resumption in line with the Lagos State directives on gradual reopening of schools.

The turnout was low in many places.

However, some schools asked their Nursery pupils to resume even though the government directed that pre-primary school pupils should not resume yet.

The state’s 1017 public primary schools are yet to resume. When The Nation visited Akilo Primary School, Ogba and Anwar-Ur-Islam Primary School, Agege, only the head teachers were in the premises.

The Head Teacher of Anwar-Ur-Islam said the schools have not resume because primary school teachers were undergoing training for the Eko EXCEL (Excellence in Child Education Learning) initiative which late started last year.

“We have not resumed. Some teachers are going through the Eko EXCEL training for two weeks. The training will end this weekend. Teachers in our school participated in the training before COVID but you know some schools cannot resume while others are shut,” she said.

Many private primary schools The Nation visited Monday were also yet to resume or only resumed for a few classes.

Building Block Montessori Primary School Ilupeju was undergoing renovations. Its administrator said the school would resume next week.

“We will resume fully next week. But the nursery classes are not to resume because the government has not given the go-ahead,” she said.

At Master Piece Nursery and Primary School, Ilupeju, the administrator, Ms. Omolola Adigun said the school would resume from October 5

Until then, she said the pupils would hold revision classes online.

“We are doing revision online from now till October for those who did not take part in our online programme. Afterwards there would be an assessment. The pre-school classes will not resume now,” she said.

At De Great Grace School, Agege, pupils had resumed. All the children were required to come with their facemasks and N200 for a personal bottle of hand sanitizer.

“Our pupils have resumed except the nursery classes. We asked them to come with their nose masks and N200 for hand sanitizer that they can put in their pockets,” said head of school, Mrs. Veronica Awuje.

Though the government said nursery classes should not resume, some schools have gone ahead to ask Nursery II pupils to resume.

A school in Ogba posted a notice for pupils from Nursery II to Primary Five pupils to resume from Wednesday. Its head of school said there were safety modalities in place to ensure the Nursery II pupils were safe.

A parent said his children’s school in Mushin also asked Nursery II pupils to resume.

“They told us that Nursery II pupils can resume – that nobody is going to ask about the classes of the children in school,” the father said.

However, it was a low turnout in schools visited by The Nation.

At Soundhope Montessori School, Baruwa, only few pupils resumed. It was observed that the classes were scanty with not more than three in a class. The pupils maintained social distancing and used their face mask.

Speaking to The Nation, Mrs. Adesola Adediran, Head of School, noted that serious academic work had begun but parents were still scared of allowing their wards to resume.

“As you can see, the turnout is very poor. The classes are scanty. Parents are still scared of sending their children down to school, probably because of their safety. We believe by next week, the majority of the pupils will resume,” she said.

She added: “Here, our policy is ‘no face mask, no entry’, and we have wash hand basins, soap and sanitiser in strategic places. We also use the infra-red thermometer to check those coming in.”

The turnout was equally low at Westown College, Ayobo. According to the Principal, Mrs. Elizabeth Abatan things have not really gone back to normal.

She noted parents complained of exorbitant fare, thus the majority pupils had to stay at home. She said it will take time before the country comes back to normal.

She said: “We resumed today, but the turnout expectedly is low because it is the first day of resumption. The situation is yet to normalise in the country. Then parents have complained of fares charged by commercial bus drivers. Government should bring everything back to normal.”

However, at Prime Focus Schools, Ipaja, the turnout was fairly impressive. The pupils used facemasks and observed social distancing in class.

The Principal, Mr. Niyi Ijalusi, expressed delight at the turnout being the first day of resumption.

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