Lagos Commissioner, OEQA meet private school owners, urges compliance with laws guiding curriculum, crèche operations

Lagos State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Jamiu Tolani Alli-Balogun, on Wednesday met with private school owners below tertiary level to canvass compliance with existing and new federal and state laws guiding educational standards and operational practices. 

The meeting which was organized by the Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance, OEQA, at the instance of the Honourable Commissioner, took place at De Blue Roof of Lagos Television Ikeja and was attended by about three thousands school owners, proprietors  and some other key stakeholders in the education sector. 

The Commissioner who emphasized adherence to federal and state laws guiding school curriculum and crèche operations informed that the new directive from the Federal Ministry of Education is that crèches should henceforth be operated solely on the ground floors of school buildings. 

He noted that the new safety regulation aims to prevent accidents, ensure the safety of young children during school hours and also aid quick evacuation during emergencies.

Additionally, the Commissioner stressed the importance of implementing the new school curriculum introduced by the federal government in December 2023 by all school owners, stressing that the dictates of the new curriculum is binding on all schools in the country. 

The new curriculum, according to him, is more innovative and emphasizes skill acquisition from the primary school level, including knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, coding, financial literacy, and ICT digitization. 

He added that Special attention is also given to establishing Resource Centers within primary schools in the new curriculum, for pupils to develop different skills from a young age.

In his words: "Private school owners are urged to align their operations with both federal and state educational laws to remain competitive and avoid legal repercussions once enforcement begins." 

Alli-Balogun also used the opportunity of the Meeting to address several concerns and agitations of some of the participants. He underscored the significance of maintaining positive relationships with staff, reminding the school owners of the labor laws protecting both employees and employers in Lagos State.

The Commissioner maintained that the education sector is current undergoing significant changes and encouraged school owners to stay ahead of these innovations to provide quality education and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

"As the education sector evolves, it is imperative that school owners stay ahead of these innovations to provide quality education and uphold regulatory standards," the Commissioner stated.

Earlier, the Director, Quality Assurance, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Hameedat Mojisola Sanni in her welcome address appreciated the schools owners for their adherence to a shared vision of a brighter educational system that is inclusive, innovative and impactful.

She also pleaded for more understanding from the school owners, saying that the present administration under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has their interest at heart and will always come up with policies that will better the lot of everyone.

 The Director informed that the interactive session will further enhance their collective goals for educational excellence, just as she expressed the government's gratitude for their commitment to the development of education in our state.

She expressed the hope that after the meeting with the Commissioner, the school owners would have been better informed about the expectations of the State Government from them such that subsequent visits of evaluators to schools would be embraced and better appreciated. 

Also, the Director of Monitoring and Investigation, Mr. Kamardeen Akodu whilst engaging the school owners during the meeting, noted that OEQA officials during their visitations to schools observed that a number of school owners are not aware of what government expects from them, hence the need to regularly engage them. 

While speaking on enforcement and visitations to schools, Akodu disclosed that the ultimate intention of OEQA and the state government as a whole is to

achieve standardization and compliance to quality education in both public and private schools. 

He said: "We don't condemn schools neither do we derive joy in the closure of any school when they err but we will instead, correct them to do the right thing. It is only when a school is recalcitrant that we will be forced to take stringent action against such school. "

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