The Lagos State Government has announced the indefinite closure of all schools from Monday 23 March.
In a statement on Wednesday night, government said it is closing down all public and private schools, as part of the measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The move, according to the state government, becomes necessary “to prevent our children and their teachers from getting more vulnerable to the pandemic.”
Folashade Adefisayo, commissioner for education said: “It is important for parents to ensure that their children practise ‘social distancing’ while at home, wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitizers and observe high standards of personal hygiene.
“Children should be encouraged to remain at home.
“The closure is not intended to create panic but to arrest the spread of the disease, which has become a global threat.
“The Incident Command Centre, headed by the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is the Incident Commander, will continue to trace all contacts of the identified cases and encourage anyone who has information about suspected cases to report to the nearest hospital or call the emergency telephone numbers 08023169485, 08033565529, 08052817243 and 08023401214.”
The closure of schools capped the various measures announced by the state after four more coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state, taking the state’s tally to seven.
Government announced earlier the banning of all religious gathering of over 50 people, after consultation with stakeholders. The ban will be for four weeks.
Then some of the leading private schools announced closure, without waiting for government instruction to do so.
The schools include Greensprings School, which has branches in Anthony, Ikoyi and Awoyaya; and Lagos Preparatory and Secondary School, Ikoyi.
Greensprings and LPSS shut down today.
Both schools have opted for e-learning for pupils while they are at home.
Greensprings School’s Head of Admissions, Mrs. Oluranti Bankole said: “Learning will now be done online using the virtual learning platform and video conferencing. She added that the school had adopted the WHO crisis management grid for COVID-19.
In a notice to parents, LPSS said the closure was a result of the spread of the Coronavirus and the school’s international makeup.
“Due to the global spread of the Coronavirus and the international makeup of the LPSS family, we have decided to close the school to children today, 18 March 2020. Whilst formal lessons have ended for the term, we are unable to predict how these events may affect Trinity (third) term and so, primary and secondary students will come home today with their notebooks.”
Other schools like Berkely and Juilliard Schools and Chessington Montessori School, Agege, announced closures for Wednesday and Friday.
Chessington informed parents that bills and report cards “will be sent electronically”, while Berkley and Juilliard Schools promised to offer “skeletal services” to stranded parents.