The Lagos State government has sealed off additional five private primary and secondary schools for allegedly holding physical lessons within their premises with students on mufti.
With this development, the number of private schools now sealed off during this period of Coronavirus pandemic has risen to 10 across the state.
The initial five were sealed off two weeks ago.
Recall that the Federal and State Governments closed down all public and private schools at all levels nationwide since March indefinitely as a way of curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to the death of many people.
Recall also that in Lagos State, the Office of Education Quality Assurance under the state Ministry of Education vowed to heavily sanction any school found within the state disobeying the directive and because of this, has been going around the state to monitor the level of compliance, especially among the private schools.
The Director-General of the office, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, who earlier gave the warning, confirmed the discovery of the additional five schools allegedly contravening the directive by a monitoring and investigation team from her office in the last two weeks.
She said she personally led the team and that the exercise which has entered the third phase would be sustained till normalcy returns and the schools are officially reopened by the government.
She said it is worrisome that some schools are still not totally compliant to the government directive despite the rising cases of COVID-19 infected persons and deaths in the state and the country at large.
While admonishing school owners and the parents to abide by the directive of the state government to stay safe and healthy, she urged them to embrace the norm of online schooling at this period.
Mrs Seriki-Ayeni, in a statement by the head of public affairs unit of her office, Mr Olaniran Emmanuel, noted that the monitoring team caught those schools in different parts of the state including Ketu, Iyana- Ipaja, Abule- Egba, Lagos Island, Alimosho and so forth.
She pointed out that since the approval of many private schools is provisional, their non-compliance to government directives may lead to the closure of such schools even after general reopening.
She, therefore, urged school owners cajoling students/pupils to come to school under whatever guise to desist from such act as coming together physically for lessons at this time portends a great health risk for both the students\teachers and the larger society.