The Lagos State Government has released reopening guidelines as well as approved online training and assessment for private school owners in preparation for safe resumption of students, a move, it said was introduced to curb likely spread of coronavirus in schools across the state.
It explained that the reopening and assessment of schools which would be done simultaneously were in line with the Federal Government’s directive on safe resumption of exit classes across the country which must be completed before state government approval.
As stated, private school owners across the state were expected to adhere to the guidelines which were issued through the state’s Office of Education Quality Assurance in eliminating incidence of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus.
The agency’s Director-General, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, said that private schools were to reopen for Senior Secondary School 3 students billed to write the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) alone and not students in other classes as approval was not given for such by the government.
Speaking while briefing newsmen in Ikeja, Lagos, Seriki-Ayeni, warned that the government would continue to seal and sanction private schools that defy the closure directive of the state’s Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
She said, “Lagos is the epicentre of Covid-19 where we have a lot of private schools, therefore safety must be first while we ensure learning continues. It is not just physical learning but blended learning.”
“We also want to make sure that all school owners, administrators and management staff complete online training on our website. After the training, they are expected to complete an online self-assessment form to indicate they have successfully completed the training.
“What is expected of them during the training is that they have to create their own re-opening plans based on our template on distance learning plans, blended learning plans, health and safety protocols like fumigation of classrooms, provision of running water and soap for handwashing.
“Others include staggering of student’s time to maintain social distancing and taking of measurements to figure out how many students to be physically together at a point in time.
“Health and Safety officers must be available at the premises and schools must also have a plan for Ciovid-19 like having knowledge of local isolation centres. They must also have learning managers that will ensure that students are learning either at home or in school. He will keep track of assessment to measure the quality of students learning, help teachers with learning plans and the curriculum”.
The Director-General further said that after developing resumption plans, the private schools must proceed to register for clearance in readiness for re-opening by visiting the agency website on www.oeqalagos.com or www.lagoslearnstogether.com to fill in basic data about their schools and the self-assessment form to indicate readiness.
“Top-level officers of Education Quality Assurance who had undergone rigorous training on the new normal will lead teams across the state’s six education districts to access schools on re-opening preparation especially on social distancing.
“They have been trained on how to support schools and teachers and to make sure schools are updated on the entire process. The visit to schools by Quality Assurance officers will be based on information submitted online, therefore schools must go through the entire process to indicate readiness to re-open. Upon a satisfactory visit, schools will be issued clearance indication like a bar code to indicate that the school has met the requirements ”