The Ogun State Government has retracted its statement that students returning to school will pay N25,000 for a mandatory COVID-19 test.
Governor Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, gave the directive for the scrapping of the policy of the COVID-19 test being a mandatory requirement for returning SS3 students and instructed that the “government laboratories carry out tests for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost”.
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According to the governor,
“The admittance of students into boarding house in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association, PTA, of such private schools.”
Governor Abiodun, in a statement, said:
“Ogun State government recommends that students who do not have to stay in the boarding house should attend school from home, especially those with underlying health conditions.
“I have also directed the provision of face masks to all students in both private and public schools. The inconvenience and confusion experienced yesterday are highly regrettable and my sincere apologies to the parents and students so affected.
“The quality and standard of education, and well being of our children are issues that are very dear to my heart. “The state has been very apprehensive about the issue of school opening even for exit students. Data from other countries, where schools have resumed, show that community transmission in school environments is a major concern.
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“Even countries with stronger health care facilities than ours are being very cautious”.
“In line with the Federal Ministry of Education recommendation and WASSCE timetable, we decided to open our schools on August 4, for SS3 students only. We put in place guidelines that would ensure that our students resume in a safe environment.”
On the test fee, he noted that:
“private laboratories have been accredited by NCDC and Lagos State government for walk-in tests and charge N50,400 per test.
“But I understand that the Ministries of Health and Education negotiated this to N25,000 for boarding students in private schools that may wish to use them. There is no financial benefit to the state government.
“The health of our children remains our utmost priority. However, in view of the total number of boarding students to be tested (5,340 private and 500 public), and bearing in mind the limitation of our installed testing capacity of 500 tests per day, it may not be feasible for all boarding students to get tested and get their results prior to the resumption or even exams, which commence on August 17.
“I appreciate the cooperation, support, resilience and understanding of all the people of Ogun State towards flattening the curve of COVID-19. It is my prayer that this phase will end soonest.”
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