Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says they want to protect students from social vices as over 24,000 children are yet to resume in the state after the first lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The state government has been roundly criticized for reopening schools while it kept its civil servants at home. The governor said they took the decision to protect students from social vices.
He said, “After the first lockdown, we are still looking for about 24,000 children that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long. Their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of allowing them to come back and learn.
“We just don’t want to throw them (out) because they will just be roaming about the streets and become more endangered. We need to protect themYou see incidents of child abuse and unprintable things that are being done to these children.
“We believe that schools, sometimes, happen to be the safe haven for them and we have done a roaster. We are monitoring. We are not saying that our position is sacrosanct and (it) can be reviewed down the line. If we monitor and realise that people are not taking responsibility, we make a recall and that is why decisions will be reviewed from time to time.”
The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, had earlier lamented that many students were already roaming the streets and gradually losing interest in learning before the reopening of schools. The commissioner noted that some of the students did jobs like mechanic, bus conductor, hawking on the streets during school closure.
The commissioner decried that allowing students to lose interest in learning is very detrimental to their growth. She stressed that the reopening of schools has been a very difficult decision amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as most vulnerable children are really going through a tough time.