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Lagos Govt. pardons 80 schools under sanctions for violating academic calendar

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

No fewer than 80 private schools have been identified by the Lagos State Government to have gone against the approved academic calendar, particularly January 4th, 2022 resumption date approved for the state.

The 80 schools were among the 720 schools visited by the government through the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) and were discovered to have acted in contrast to the calendar.

Announcing the statistics of schools that acted against the harmonised academic calender, the Director-General of OEQA, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, on Sunday, said that the government would no longer be sanctioning the schools but cautioned them against further actions.

According to her, 640 out of the 720 schools visited by the OEQA complied with January 4, 2022,  resumption date set by the Lagos State Government, signifying a compliance rate of about 89 percent.

Seriki-Ayeni, while commending the schools that adhered to the State’s resumption date, stressed that the government had no plan to seal any schools as this would be counter-productive to learning.

The DG explained that rather, the OEQA only issued letters and placed stickers of non-compliance on the gates of schools that disobeyed the directive.

The OEQA boss clarified that the directive for public and private schools to maintain a uniform calendar was not new as it had been in place for several years.

She, however, said the renewed enforcement was imperative because of the interruptions to school days occasioned by COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdowns.

Seriki-Ayeni recalled that in June 2021 there were meetings between representatives of the State government, private school proprietors,  private school associations, and other relevant education stakeholders where it was agreed to ensure that the calendar and the January 4th date would be adhered to.

A statement by the DG on Sunday read in part, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Lagos State Government has not and will not shut down any school, as it would be counter-productive to learning”. 

She appealed to public and private school administrators in Lagos State to work with families to ensure that children are in school as expected 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”, Seriki-Ayeni added.

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