Pakistan on Monday announced it was unblocking Chinese social media app TikTok after receiving assurances that it would moderate content in accordance with local laws.
“TikTok is being unlocked after assurance from management that they will block all accounts repeatedly involved in spreading obscenity and immorality.
“TikTok will moderate the accounts in accordance with local laws,’’ the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced in statement.
Earlier this month, the PTA said it blocked the popular Chinese app after receiving complaints of vulgarity from different segments of society.
The move came months after live-streaming app Bigo Live was banned for the same reason and video-sharing platform YouTube was warned to block vulgarity and hate speech.
Dating app Tinder has also been blocked in recent months by authorities in the conservative Islamic Republic.
These moves were seen by activists as an attempt to muzzle online criticism of the country’s powerful military.
YouTube introduced a localised version in Pakistan after a ban that lasted for several months in 2012 following protests against a movie deemed insulting to the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
Censorship levels have increased since the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan took office after elections in 2018 tainted by allegations of army interference.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Ismail Abdulaziz
The National President of Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Alhaji Haruna Danjuma has called on states and federal governments to provide adequate security to schools, to protect teachers and students from kidnappers.
Danjuma made the call in an interview with journalists in Kaduna on Sunday.
He said that the increasing security challenges in the country makes it imperative to make provision of adequate security personnel in schools a priority.
The PTA President noted that schools in rural areas should be given priority as most attacks by bandits were perpetrated on rural communities.
Danjuma also said that schools must adhere to COVID-19 protocols as students resume, to avoid a second wave of coronavirus attack.
He appealed to traditional and religious leaders, Non-govermental organizations and other stakeholders to monitor schools and initiative ways to protect students and teachers in their communities.
Danjuma said that the PTA would collaborate with the
police, civil defence corps, vigilantes and other security services to ensure security of schools nationwide.
“We must support the education of our children and we must join hands toward making them have enabling environment for their studies,” he said.
Danjuna noted that the six months closure of schools due to coronavirus pandemic has caused serious setback to the educational sector, especially young children in rural areas.
He therefore said teachers must commit themselves in leveraging the situation through incisive teaching and revision, to make up for the time lost due to COVID-19.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
[email protected]: Appraising the gains of the unity schools
, News Agency of Nigeria
As a nation with lots of geopolitical diversities, a major challenge for Nigeria’s leaders has always been how to unite the people to form a cohesive country focused on promoting growth, prosperity and greatness.
When Nigeria attained Independence in 1960, the search for policies to bring the people together became even more necessary following mutual distrust and, possibly suspicion, rooted in the fact that its constituents – from the north east, west and south – did not know much about each other.
Part of the result of that search for unity and togetherness saw the establishment of the unity schools in 1966.
Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, then Nigeria’s Prime Minister, who established the schools, particularly noted that education was a tool for achieving peace, unity, and national coercion, adding that knowledge of each other would free the individual mind from harmful perception about others.
He opined that the problems in government and parliament at that time were due to mutual mistrust and ignorance of the backgrounds of the people saddled with ruling the nation at that time.
Analysts believe that the political crisis in the Western Region, after the 1964 elections, further strengthened government’s resolve to create the unity schools.
The first three unity schools, which were initially referred to as Inter-Regional Secondary Schools before they were changed to Federal Government Colleges, were cited in Okposi (East), Sokoto (North) and Warri (West).
The schools were expected t0 bring together young boys and girls from all regions of the country, irrespective of their social or economic background, to learn, play and live under a roof, to remove the mysteries surrounding the evolution of regional citizenry.
Unity schools were also created to breed detribalised citizens needed for the good management of resources at all levels of governance of the nation.
Over the years, many of such schools have been established with practically each of the 36 states and the FCT currently hosting at least two of them.
But, in spite of the lofty goals and the wide spread of the schools, analysts have continued to disagree over whether the major goal of the unity schools – uniting Nigeria and promoting one patriotic spirit – had been achieved.
Some have argued that the struggle toward a united Nigeria was still on, 54 years after the unity schools came in place, while others have also argued that their pride as centres of excellence has evaporated.
Dr Sylvestre Atu, a university teacher, does not believe that the unity schools have done much in the primary mandate of uniting the nation to pursue one destiny.
“The schools were supposed to remove mutual suspicion. That menace still stares us in the face.
“They were supposed to be centres of excellence in all areas – academic, values, discipline, patriotism. You and I know the truth today. Many parents prefer private secondary schools some of which have been confirmed to be better equipped and better managed than the unity schools.,” he said.
But Mr Nasiru Wasagu, Secretary General, Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), believes that the schools have played the roles for which they were established, especially with regards to nation building.
“ The role of unity schools has been very crucial. They are supposed to breed stabilised Nigerians that are needed for good management of the resources at all levels of government.
“Disparity after Independence noticed by the then government, with regards to lack of trust and lack of hope among parliament members, led government to create the unity schools.
“The schools offered children from all over the country the opportunity to come together and learn to live together with the differences of one another, thereby entrenching tolerance toward a unified nation.
“ To a certain level, the role has been well played by the components and product of unity schools with regards to nation building,” he said.
On the persistent tribal and religious differences playing out in the country, Wasagu said that the unity schools had been a unifying factor as friendships had been established across tribal, regional and religious lines.
“The establishment of the unity schools has helped a lot to play down ethnic and tribal differences in our nation.
“Unity schools do not encourage tribalism because almost everyone I know that went to unity school can claim to actually have a friend in all the 36 states of the federation.
“This is because five children are taken from each state of the federation, and just a larger number from the host state. When those children enter the school as classmates, they learn together, they grow up together and eat together. I don’t see how that can be injurious to nation building or contribute to sectionalism or tribalism.
“I believe that if the unity schools have remained up to this time considering other factors in the society, especially insecurity, it is because their contribution to the Nigerian state has been invaluable.”
Mrs Ifeyinwa Omowole, an alumna of a unity school, said that unity schools have helped its products to see one another as members of the same country.
Omowole, a Deputy Editor-in-Chief in the News Agency of Nigeria and President, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), said that the ethnic, religious and cultural diversities that exists in Nigeria could be harnessed for the good of the society.
“ I met my husband in transit to unity school; he is Yoruba while I am Igbo. That is one of the beauties of attending unity schools.
“ I have friends all over Nigeria and most of my very good friends are from the north. I came all the way from Lagos to school in the north, precisely Funtua, in Kastina State.
“As far as I am concerned, we should continue to live that trend. Coming together afforded us the opportunities to bond together; we need to sustain it.
“We know that this insecurity in the country now is just a phase and it is not here to stay, so we need to revisit the old ways of sending children to unity schools. That is the beauty of Nigeria we need to sustain.
“ Whether we like it or not, this country is here to stay; we are not going to separate, so we should make sure those things that bind us together thrive,” she said.
Mr David Onuegbu, an alumnus of Federal Government Boys College, Apo, FCT, said that studying in unity school had helped him to adapt to life away from home which, according to him, prepares students for future challenges.
He called on the government to focus attention on unity schools through the provision of world class facilities as well as the training and retraining of teachers.
According to him, the schools usually help students to interact with people from other tribes thereby learning other languages and culture.
“ The establishment of the schools has helped us to communicate effectively with people from other tribes, home and languages.
“When you have been with a group of people, you will be able to know how they behave and the right way to approach them.
“ It has also helped to give the confidence needed to survive away from the comfort of your home and bond with other people from different parts of the country,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, as if reacting to criticisms against the state of the schools, the Federal Government has ordered a total overhaul of all unity schools across the country.
Tthe Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, disclosed the development to newsmen recently.
Echono said that President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval to the ministry of education to rehabilitate dilapidated structures and construct new classrooms in unity schools to accommodate more students.
“We are pleased that Mr President graciously approved that we should begin to rehabilitate many of these unity colleges,” he said.
According to him, there is a challenge of access to education in Nigeria. He said that the intervention is to bring more children into the school system.
“We are improving our libraries, the laboratory and other facilities.
“We are also recruiting additional teachers and regularising PTA teachers. New equipment are also being supplied.
“The ministries of power, works and housing have come to our aid in Abuja. They have approved some interventions to rehabilitate classrooms in Abuja unity schools.” he said.
But as government intensifies efforts toward improving the quality of the schools, Mr John Ogwuche, a teacher in Federal Government College, Odogbolu in Ogun, who has taught in many unity schools including Queens College, Lagos and Federal Technical College, Ilesha, has lamented the challenge of insecurity that was hindering parents from sending children to unity schools.
“`There has been a spate of violence that scares parents from sending children to far distances.
“Government must strive to effectively addresses this menace. The worst scenarios are the religious conflicts that could even spill into the schools and polarize the young students. It is a situation that scares everyone.
“When this matter is addressed, federalism will be the better for it and the unity schools will flourish bountifully,” Ogwuche said.
At the inaugural ceremony, Hajia Hafsat Abubakar, wife of the Chief of Air Staff and NAFOWA President, said that the school was one of the hallmark ventures of the association.
Abubakar said that one of the major objectives of the association was to ensure that children acquired quality education in a safe and secured environment at affordable prices.
She said that the project was constructed during the most difficult time when COVID-19 pandemic had ravaged the economy and other aspects of human life.
“NAFOWA Little Angels is one of the hallmark ventures of the association where we impact knowledge on little children, from creche to primary six, in a safe and secure environment with emphasis on quality education at an affordable price.
“Our schools are all over the country, from Maiduguri to Lagos. They are known to have excellent facilities comparable to renowned private schools in their areas.
“We are known for producing well rounded children who are academically and morally sound,” she said.
Abubakar also said that NAFOWA was a non-governmental organisation focused on carrying out intiatives and programmes that build capacity, especially in the areas of human development.
She said that the association also strive to give valuable education to women, widows, children and youths.
Earlier, Mrs Olakunbi Phillip, Chairperson, NAFOWA, Tactical Air Command, Nigeria Air Force Base, Makurdi chapter, had said that quality education in a conducive environment was crucial to building a good foundation for the child.
Philip said that the hall was built to improve the learning environment of the children at NAFOWA Little Angels School, Makurdi.
She said that the old school hall would be partitioned into two classrooms to accommodate more children, especially considering the social distancing regulation to be observed when schools resume.
“It is important to note that quality education in a conducive environment and infrastructural development for a good foundation and growth of the children remains the priority of our national president.
“This hall was built to provide essential and conducive environment to accommodate the growing number of children who require such facility for school assembly, speech and prize giving day and PTA meetings.
“It will also be useful for other recreational activities the children require for proper growth and development,’’ she said.
Philip said that the hall was built within the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, adding that the association was determined to improve the wellbeing of members, children and youths.Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ephraims Sheyin
Mrs Tosin Ajayi, Executive Director of WOYODEV, made the call on Thursday in Ilorin, during a Stakeholder’s Meeting tagged: “Implementation of second phase of `End Child Bride Project”.
Ajayi stated that the ‘End Child Bride’ initiative had been able to profile over 6,000 girls in Kwara, and supported 150 others to return to school.
She recalled that earlier at the first phase of the meeting, it was decided that it was not just enough to advocate at the state level, but to go to the grassroots and set up a mechanism for holistic support for the girl-child.
According to her, this support will ensure the girl-child will not be married off early and exposed.
The Director, Kwara Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Mariam Yusuf, however, charged law enforcement agencies to help in implementing the Child Rights Act to make parents understand better.
She reiterated that the child bride portended great danger, noting however, that education would remedy such occurrences.
Yusuf, therefore, appealed to parents to ensure their children/wards were in school; and desist from forcing the girl child into early marriage.
Also speaking, Antonia Omonogoh, of the Child protection Network said: “`Free and compulsory education should be well implemented by the government.
“Education should be free as stated in the law, to cover school lockers, chairs, as well as Parent/Teachers Association (PTA) fees,” she added.
Omonogoh was of the view that providing free education in its totality, would encourage parents who might not be able to afford certain fees and equipment, to jettison girl-child marriage.
He observed that such “teachers are illegally making their livelihood from PTA levies, which is not supposed to be.”
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
The Principals of King’s College, Lagos, Mr Andrew Agada, and Queen’s College, Lagos, Dr Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, have assured parents and guardians of safety of their children and wards as they resumed.
Agada and Yakubu-Oyinloye gave the assurance in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, on the resumption of schools by the exiting students of the 104 Unity Colleges across the country.
The students were resuming to write their examinations after a long break due to the lockdown and closure of schools following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
NAN also reports that the schools had been shut following the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education since March, as a result of the ravaging pandemic.
The Federal Government after due consultations with other key stakeholders, agreed to reopen the schools only for the existing classes of the Senior Secondary School 3 and the Junior Secondary School 3.
Agada said: “First and foremost, I want to thank God for sparing our lives, the children, our parents and all other stakeholders. We have also been looking forward to receiving them.
”I also want to seize this opportunity to thank the Federal Ministry of Education for the assistance rendered so far in order to make this resumption possible.
”Yesterday, the entire college was decontaminated, ranging from the classrooms, hostels the laboratories, everywhere, by the Federal Ministry of the Environment.
”We want to assure our parents that there is no need to panic, as our lives are in God’s hands but we will do our best and God will continue to protect us.”
According to him, the college has set up a committee called the “COVID-19 Guidelines Enforcement Committee”.
He said that the committee was made up of dedicated teachers that would be going round during the classes, the dinning halls and hostels to ensure that the students maintain the safety protocols.
Agada added that already, messages had also been sent to the parents and guardians to also advice their children and wards against any form of gatherings or contact activities such as playing of football or games that would bring them together.
“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left, and so, we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.
”By tomorrow, full lecture will commence. We are fully prepared. The timetable is out and the teachers are very ready more than ever before to hit the ground running,” he said.
On the part of the management, the principal said that they have also put certain things in place.
“First, since it is only the SS3 students that are coming back, we have prepared hostels and spread them to all the hostels that hitherto, accommodated SS1, 2, 3 in the college.
”So, currently, we are not having more than 12 students in a room.
“Secondly, on the issue of classrooms, we have 30 of it at our main campus here, for the senior school.
“The SS3 students are coming in soon and these ones will be occupying 19 classrooms at the JSS section of the college, as against the 10 they used to occupy before now.
”All these are means of ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and also we have sanitisers, even customised ones, that is the pedal one.
“And graciously, where we procured some of these equipment from, the company is also coming in to assist us by giving us automated dispensers, like you see at the airports and other places,” Agada said.
He added that the college would also be mounting about 15 of such at the main campus and another 15 at the annex for the Junior Secondary School.
”We have also worked on our water, as we recently dug another borehole to expand our water reticulation system.
“The hostels too, we have worked on the hostels, the bunks, the broken down ones have been repaired, the classroom desks, we have also refurbished them.
”So, as the students are coming, we are sure that there is enough desks, bunks, space and water and all other necessary facilities that would ensure their safety and comfort.
“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left and so we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.
“Again, another measure we adopted to reduce the crowd is to allow the borders in two houses, to be checked in first. We have four houses. By tomorrow borders in the other two remaining houses will be checked in,” he said.
The principal added that for now, only the borders were being checked in.
He said parents of some day students were also applying to be accommodated as boarding students.
The principal cited difficulty of accessing the roads to the college, following the closure of the 3rd Mainland bridge as a huge challenge.
”We have considered them, because we have the space.
”Our advice, therefore, to our parents is to remain hopeful and assuring that God who has kept us all these while, is still fully in control, and we must look unto Him and have faith in Him.
”It is our prayer too that our students will all finish their examination successfully in good state of health and will all return home to their parents safely,” he prayed.
Also, at the Queen’s College, Lagos, its Principal, Dr Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, took NAN Correspondent round the college premises.
Yakubu-Oyinloye said: “We have put all the guidelines and protocols in place to ensure that our students are safe when they resume and all through the period of their stay here.
“You can see the sitting arrangements in our classes. We do not have more than 20 students per class with their seats placed two metres apart from each other.
“Names of students per class have been pasted by the entrance of each of the respective classes.
”We have also fixed automated hand sanitisers in all the classes, including the foot pedal sanitiser at the gate.”
According to her, instead of using the 12 classes that were designated before now for SS3 students, 34 more classrooms, including those for the SS1 and SS2 have now been converted for tluse of SS3 students to ensure social distancing.
Yakubu-Oyinloye added that the same measures also applied to the hostels.
The principal said that the school management, in collaboration with the PTA had fumigated the hostels and all other sections of the college.
She said that already, the Federal Ministry of Education, also in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment, had decontaminated and disinfected the entire college.
”We have also serviced our water treatment plant as well as wash our tanks. In addition to keeping social distancing, we will also be staggering our break periods as well as our meal time.
”We have also designated a building as an isolation centre in the college, should there be any case of high temperature, before contacting the appropriate authorities.
“On the part of the teachers, they have been fully sensitised and equipped.
“In fact, teachers who will have no business on campus are not allowed to come around. They can do their jobs at home.
“In the same vein, all returning SS3 students must also come with at least five masks and must wear their masks before they can be checked in.
“They must also ensure that they come with their personal effects including cutleries as sharing is not allowed,” Yakubu-Oyinloye said.
The principal commended a set of the Old Girls of the college for donating 68 white boards for each of the classrooms in the college, adding that already another set of the old girls are set to donate four interactive boards to facilitate teaching and learning.
She pleaded with parents to impress it on their children and wards to ensure that they always adhere strictly to the safety guidelines.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Pakistan has banned live streaming app Bigo and issued a “final warning” to Chinese social media app TikTok over content deemed immoral or obscene.
“On complaints of immoral, obscene and vulgar content, streaming app Bigo has been blocked in Pakistan.
“TikTok has also been served with final warning on same grounds,’’ Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
The authority said it had issued notices to these social media companies to moderate the content within legal and moral limits but “the response of these companies has not been satisfactory.”
The Chinese video sharing app TikTok has often been criticized for its content but its popularity and outreach continues to grow.
The PTA said impact of the apps, particularly on youth, had been “negative.”
Recently, a petitioner asked the Lahore High Court to ban the app for spreading pornographic and immoral content.
Hareem Shah, a Pakistani girl, who became a social media celebrity with over three million followers of her videos on TikTok, told broadcaster Geo TV that “she supports the government’s decision.”
Earlier this month, Pakistan temporarily banned access to the popular online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) after reports of suicides and mental health issues among young people.
The PTA said the decision was taken after numerous complaints by parents, police and doctors, saying that the game had made children addicted.
YouTube and other sites have also faced periodic blocks in Pakistan over content that is deemed to be blasphemous.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Queens College, Lagos, on Sunday urged the Federal Government to consider a student -proximity- model, to allow students to write the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
The PTA made the plea in a communique signed by its Chairman, Mr Adewuyi Adedamola, after a brainstorming session among the stakeholders of the school in Lagos.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, had on July 8 announced that schools under the control of the Federal Government would not participate in the 20 WASSCE.
According to Adamu, this is not the right time to re-open, as the government will prefer Nigerian students to loose an academic year than to expose them to the dangers of the current Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Adedamola said that the model, though cumbersome, could be considered, in as much as it aligned with the fact that children and adults were most vulnerable to COVID-19 pandemic.
“We appeal for modification in the minister’s statement and align with the bottlenecks around unity schools, that are predominantly boarding.
”We also proposed an increment in adult supervision in the dormitories with a reduced number of students per room since the dormitory will only cater for fewer students in SS3.
“Imperatively the boarding facilities will only cater for one-sixth (1/6) of its capacity, as some boarders have indicated their preferences to convert to day status.
“This will further increase the boarding facilities available to students,” he said in the communique.
According to him, the forum noted it had been identified that the examination hall was not the challenge for the boarding system, rather, the fear of what takes place in the hostels.
“If four West African member countries of the council have put plans in place to enable their students to partake in the examinations, nothing stops Nigeria, the ‘Giant of Africa’ from following suit.
“The students are already in a state of emotional trauma and psychological imbalance due to this present situation.
“With this delay, the situation should not be allowed to further worsen by depriving them of yet another year. They are demoralised and are fast losing hope,” he said.
The chairman said it was acceptable that the current status of boarding infrastructure nationwide might not be structured to fully monitor the students with some not residing in the same locality as the unity school they attend.
He proposed that students should utilise the nearest Unity Schools to their places of residence.
“These Unity Schools should act as their examination centres, while parents, governments and WAEC could bear the extra cost/logistics,” he said.
Adedamola said that parents had indicated their willingness to bear whatever cost for their children to participate in this year’s examination, pledging to sign an undertaking, if required.
”It is a general belief that it is cheaper to bear this additional cost for safety, than allow children to loose a year, especially when their colleagues in private schools and other parts of West Africa are moving forward.
“Our country cannot afford to be a year behind.
“We, therefore, propose that students of unity schools nationwide are allowed to sit for their examinations at the closest schools to their places of residence.
“The Federal Ministry of Education and WAEC can determine the means of dispatching answers booklet to their respective states and centres.
“We believe the government can partner logistics companies to actualise this proposed model.
”We have enough classes to cater for the WAEC candidates in unity schools to maintain all the COVID-19 precautionary measures,” he said.
The chairman, however, appealed to the Minister of Education to reconsider his directive on unity schools not to participate in 2020 WASSCE, bearing in mind the model recommended by the parents forum.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Most teachers of public school teachers in Oyo State resumed work on Monday in compliance with the state government directive to that effect.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent, who went to the schools reports that as at 8.a.m on Monday, the number of teachers seen in most public schools visited in Ibadan was significant.
However, in some schools, between three and four teachers were seen in the premises.
Earlier, the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Gov. Seyi Makinde, had directed that pupils in primary 6, students in JSS 3 and SSS3 would resume on July 6, while teachers should resume on July 29.
Some school principals told NAN that the teachers who had been trained by the government on COVID-19 prevention would train their colleagues and other non-teaching staff on safety guidelines in view of resumption.
Mrs Folasade Ayodele, Vice-Principal of an Islamic high school, said that school resumption on July 6 was visible with the cooperation of other stakeholders in education, especially the Parents Teachers Association (PTA).
“We have been asked to speak with the PTA and philanthropists in the neighbourhood to donate.
“We will roll out our map on ensuring safety while we still deliberate on actualising the plans as the event unfolds,” Ayodele said.
Mr Akinkunmi Ogunsola, Principal, St. Patrick School, Basorun, Ibadan, said that teachers were on ground to ensure adequate preparations for students to resume.
“We have provided the water, sanitiser and soaps; we have stickers displayed around the school to educate whoever that comes in.
“When the students finally resume, the school will roll out other plans as directed by the government,” Ogunsola said.
Also, Mrs Dasola Bello, Principal, Oba Akinyele Memorial High School, lbadan, said: “we had series of seminars for principals, vice-principals and teachers and more will still be done on COVID-19 prevention with the modules provided by the state government.
“Government has provided the teachers and students with face masks which will be distributed.
“You can see that individuals came with their masks and we are adhering to safety protocols right from the entrance of the school gate. We will keep this up”.
Bello said that parents also had their stake in education and believed they wete ready to do their own bit.
”They may collaborate with the government in fumigating the school premises; parents should keep their wards healthy and if any child is sick, the person should stay at home.
“Social distancing will not be a problem because only 150 students will be allowed to resume which is still a manageable size.
”There are classes and furniture to accommodate them to ensure safety.
“Some teachers have been appointed as health officials and there as counsellors to see to it that safety guidelines are adhered,” Bello said.
Mr Aremu Akanfe, Proprietor of God is Able Group of School, said that the school had participated in the government training on COVID-19 and its teachers were also being trained.
“We have washing hand basins, sanitiser has been provided for our students and we have fumigated the school premises,” Akanfe said.
However, some parents who spoke to NAN expressed divergent views on releasing their children to resume school on July 6 as directed by the government.
Mrs Chinyere Babalola, a parent, said that her child would resume school on July 6 as she had confidence that she would adhere to safety rules on COVID-19.
“I know she is mature and has very good knowledge on COVID-19. I can trust her to follow through on it.
“She will go with her face mask and sanitiser as school resumes. Schools can’t be closed forever because life has to go on in spite COVID-19,” Babalola said.
Another parent, Mrs Ibukun Anifalaje, said that she was not in support of students in terminal classes resuming because, according to her, adequate measures are not in place.
“In schools we have more than 30 pupils per class, how can they ensure safety?
“Before schools were closed when COVID-19 just started, you will see schools providing water only with no soap.
“We can’t be sure things are provided in abundance for the students.
“I have told my children that they might not resume though he is to write the West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE). He will do it next year if he needs to.
“Even these children cannot tolerate the face masks for long and they will play with themselves. It is someone that is alive that will write examinations,” Anifalaje said.
But the Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, said that the government was doing all it could to ensure safety of students upon resumption.
“We are meeting the School Governing Board (SGB) of each school. I am on my way to Government College Ibadan and Lagelu Grammar School to meet with SGB.
“We will meet with PTA on Wednesday and we will be able to tell them things that have been put in place and provided,” Olaleye said.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
The Ogun State Government has introduced placement examination for pupils who want to gain admission into public Junior and Senior Secondary Schools.
The government said the initiative would help cushion the effects of the falling standard of educational in the state.
Mrs Ronke Soyombo, the Special Adviser to Gov. Dapo Abiodun on Primary and Secondary Education, said this on Thursday at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Abeokuta on Thursday.
Soyombo said the new initiative was aimed at repositioning public schools for better performance and also to boost the standard of education in the state.
She said that the initiative was part of Gov. Dapo Abiodun led-administration’s efforts toward redeeming the dented image of the state educational sector.
“Our ultimate goal as a government is to restore and uplift the standard in which we are known for as a state; because in the last four years, the results of our external examinations have been nothing to write home about.
“That is why we need to meet all relevant stakeholders to map out plans to help out in achieving these set goals”, she said.
Soyombo also disclosed that the state government was working hard to improve the welfare of both the teaching and non-teaching staffs of the various public schools by approving their promotions.
She added that the present administration had also adopted 28 community schools since its inception.
Mrs Abosede Ogunleye, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, appreciated the Parent/Teacher Association (PTA), Old Students Association and other stakeholders for their passion toward retaining the education standards in the state.
Ogunleye said that the ministry would be available to render necessary assistance when called upon.
Speaking on behalf of the Old Students Association and PTA, Mesrs Babajide Dasaolu and Alao Anifowose respectively, commended the government for prioritising teachers’ welfare and for the renovation going on in about 952 public schools.
They called for more government’s support and interventions in schools, adding that government should introduce the presence of security officers in schools.
They also said that such would help to curb cultism among students and enable them to be focused on their studies.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Peter Dada (NAN)