By Adesina Wahab
In a bid to ensure safety in schools as the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) began, the DIrector General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni and her team have embarked on COVID-19 safety and hygiene compliance monitoring exercise to ensure that schools adhere strictly to the guidelines on safe reopening of schools as specified by the Federal and the Lagos State governments.
The exercise, which cut across the Six State Education Districts, is to supervise the WASSCE examinations to guide against malpractices and to ensure that public and private schools meet the recommended safety standard for reopening.
According to a statement by the Public Affairs Officer, OEQA, Mr Olaniran Emmanuel, made available to our correspodent yesterday, the evaluators were also to assist schools objectively in assessing the level of safety and security and help to clearly identify areas of improvement, while encouraging them to take concrete steps in addressing identified gaps.
Speaking during the exercise, Seriki-Ayeni said all the schools visited on the first day of the WASSCE complied with all examination procedures.
“We must not compromise standard. Therefore, we must ensure that there are checks in place against examination malpractices and against COVID-19 infection. Schools must ensure they disinfect the environment and make sure students sign in on arrival. Schools are expected to have sanitation managers that will ensure that all environmental and health protocols are observed.
“All schools must also register with OEQA online to obtain clearance for reopening. They must also have learning managers to assist teachers develop learning plans that include distance and blended learning plans to be uploaded on OEQA website while students should strive to protect each other by using face mask”.
Recall that Seriki-Ayeni enlightened the general public during an official visit to Traffic Radio F on the online registration. “We are supporting schools holistically with an understanding that the registration for reopening for SSS3 students and subsequent clearance will assist schools to maintain overall safety and hygiene protocols.
“OEQA evaluators are now using technology to scale evaluations for seamless schools registration process. Registering to get a special code is the first part of the process that involves self-assessment, training and verification for clearance. Schools are to download the Federal and Lagos State Government Schools Reopening Guidelines and the Safety Guidelines from the agency website. All schools must also make provision for isolation room in case of emergency.”
She advised all schools across the state to shun examination malpractices in any guise, stating that OEQA evaluators would be out to monitor the examinations in full scale.
She further advised all public and private school leaders to continue to make adequate safety provision for the students like the use of mask during the examination, washing of hands with soap in running water and maintaining social distancing inside the examination hall.