Public and private schools within Alimosho, Agege and Ikeja area of Lagos experienced very low turnout of students as schools resume the 2023/2024 academic session on September 4, 2023. According to news correspondents who visited some schools, it was observed that there were few students for resumption and few parents came to drop off their children. Also, students and pupils were not seen in droves as it used to be on resumption days on the streets going to school.
Some of the schools that they visited in Alimosho Local Government Area include Alimosho Junior and Senior High School, Rauf Aregbesola Primary School, African Nursery and Primary School, Ikeja High School, Pentavillle Montessori School, Sophem High School, Krisbetel College and Adegoke High School. Principals and teachers in the public schools directed reporters to the Lagos State Ministry of Education in Alausa for any questions. Meanwhile, proprietors of some private schools declined to comment on the situation.
Low turnout can be attributed to two factors, says NUT Lagos Chapter.
Mr. Akintoye Hassan of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Lagos Chapter, said that there was low turnout in two schools that he visited within Ikeja environs. He said that teachers were physically on ground in their various schools but the turnout of the students was poor. According to him, the low turnout of students can be attributed to two factors. The first is that across the South West region, only Lagos State has resumed academic activities. Even states that vacated on the same day are yet to resume till September 18.
With this early resumption, Lagos State has allotted 16 weeks for first term activities to schools, which is believed to be too long especially with the economic challenges. Also, students and parents might be affected by the current economic situation. “We are currently discussing with the leaders in the education sector in the state for a resolution to shorten the 16 weeks academic activities for the first term,” he said. He said that schools may have resumed activities in Lagos, but the reality is that it was not noticeable.
NAPPS president urged private schools to focus on valuable programs.
Hassan advised the teachers to remain focused, make themselves available in their schools, and continue to be nation builders. Meanwhile, Mr. Yomi Otubela, the national president of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), also urged all private schools to concentrate mainly on viable and valuable projects and programs that would project their schools positively. Otubela, who is also the proprietor of a school, advised that as schools navigate through the challenging business environment, they should ensure that they embrace cost-cutting strategies.
“As schools in Lagos resume today and schools in other states are preparing to resume, it is imperative to remind us that the safety and well-being of our students and staff members are sacrosanct and should be highly prioritized,” he said. He said that school managements must ensure that the security staff members are adequately trained and equipped to ensure that schools are secure for the safety of students, staffers and others within the school premises.
Parent said her children didn’t resume because of no school work.
On behalf of the association, he wished member schools throughout Nigeria a hitch-free academic session. He also said that they were excited to welcome all students back for the new academic session in their school. Meanwhile, a parent and businesswoman had revealed that her children did not resume on the resumption date because the school would only be conducting the registration of the students. She added that her children were not resuming this week because of inability to pay the fees, saying that they will resume the next week.