The Sun News

FG directs Queen’s College to reopen

• Old students want resumption postponed

By Gabriel Dike

The Federal Government has ignored advice of Lagos State Ministry of Health on Queen’s College, to delay resumption of academic activities due to an outbreak of diarrhoea which killed two students.

Government decision was informed by the need to allow senior and junior students (SS111 and JSS111) prepare for three external examinations between March and June.

The students are expected to write the May/June 2017 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the Basic Education Certificate (BEC). 

Before the federal government directive to the management of the Queen’s College on resumption, the college Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the Association of Senior Civil Servant of Nigeria (ASCSN) rejected Lagos State Government’s advice to suspend reopening of the school and insisted that students would resume yesterday.

Last Thursday, the ministry advised management of the college to delay resumption of students from the mid-term break until certain health and environmental measures are put in place, to avert another outbreak of diarrhoea or any health risk.

“Recommendations have been sent to the school authorities and I am aware that efforts are being made to identified areas of lapses, especially the urgent need for water disinfection and sterilisation of water points in the school. Furthermore, we wish to advise that school resumption be delayed till appropriate measures have been put in place for the safety of the students,’’ the report stated.

Daily Sun learnt that less than 48 hours after the state government came out with it findings and advice for delay resumption, the federal government asked the college management to re-open the college for academic activities as agreed at a meeting two weeks ago by the school management.

On Saturday, managament of college management sent text message to parents stating that arrangement have been concluded for resumption of academic activities yesterday after the midterm break. 

When Daily Sun visited Queen’s College last Friday, several parents were at the premises to find out if the school would resume on Sunday, as stated in an earlier text message sent to parents.

The report and advice of the Lagos state ministry of health triggered the large number of parents seeking information on resumption date.

Also, the engineers were seen battling to put the water treatment plant in order while the kitchen and sickbay wore a new look but, the hostel and school’s surroundings were dirty. 

Meanwhile,  Unity School Old Students’ Association, (USOSA) has called for the declaration of public health emergency at Queens College, Lagos.

A statement released by Chidi Odinkalu, president-general of the association, said pending independent certification of the school as safe for human activity, it should remain closed.

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