Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, has revealed that her child is one of the survivors of COVID-19.
She disclosed this on Sunday evening at a zoom meeting organised by the Concerned Parents and Educators Initiative (CPE).
The meeting tagged, “Facing the reality of the new normal in the education sector,” brought private school owners and government representatives together to discuss the way forward as schools remain shut in a bid to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also in attendance at the meeting were the commissioners for education in Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states namely Olasunkanmi Olaleye, Prof Sidi Oso, Jamiu Olawumi and Foluso Daramola respectively.
The meeting , chaired by the CPE Founder, Mrs. Yinka Ogunde, was put together to , among other things, allow education commissioners shed light on steps being taken by various state governments to address learning needs of Nigerian children.
The commissioners were also expected to address the concerns of private school owners who had earlier been instructed not to charge parents for the third term academic session.
Adefisayo said that as a parent of a COVID-19 survivor, she knew what it meant to suffer from the disease. She said nothing could be too much in ensuring the safety of school children.
She added that schools would remain shut until government was convinced that it would be safe for students to return to school.
“She said, I’m a parent of a COVID-19 survivor. I know what it means to go through this pandemic. During my child’s ordeal, nothing mattered to me. I wasn’t interested in anything apart from my child’s survival. We have to keep assessing the situation and watch for some time. We have to look at all sides. If the number keeps rising we cannot open school.
“Life is more important than learning. We cannot ruin our children’s lives. Only people that are alive can learn. We need to ensure that these children are safe first before opening schools. We are focusing on the safety of our children. Government cannot be railroaded to taking a decision on school opening.”
On the government’s directive not to commence third term, she said, “Please let learning continue, so long it is not physical, no one is saying schools cannot teach third term materials.” She explained that government’s decision to stop the commencement of third term was based on the complaints of some parents that schools were charging them for third term when they would not be providing the totality of the services paid for.
Meanwhile, all the commissioners at the meeting said they had begun radio and television learning programmes for students in their states and that they were working on improving access to these services.
Ogunde sought more collaboration among state governments, parents and private school owners to bring about the best learning options for students in both private and public schools during this period.