Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, cancelled the initially announced Covid-19 test requirement for resuming pupils in exiting classes.
There has been outrage by parents of pupils in private secondary schools in the state over the request of N25,000 COVID-19 test fee by the government.
But in a statement on Monday evening titled, “Ogun Makes COVID-19 Test Free For All Returning SS3 Boarding Students”, the governor stepped down COVID-19 test as a requirement for each graduating pupil to resume.
Abiodun also apologised for the “inconvenience and confusion” experienced by some protesting parents on Sunday.
The statement read, “After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the Government Laboratories carry out tests for all returning SS3 boarding students at no cost. I have also directed that all those who have paid for tests be refunded. The health of our children remains our utmost priority.
“However, in view of the total number of boarding students to be tested (5,340private 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 resumption or even exams which commence on 17th August 2020.
“Consequently, the State Government has, therefore, stepped down the COVID-19 test as a mandatory requirement for returning students in our exit classes.
“We, therefore, enjoin Private School owners to exercise their duty of care to their pupils. The admittance of students into boarding houses in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association of such private schools.
“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.
“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.”
We had earlier reported that the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 on Monday said it is “far more important to monitor” every resuming pupil for symptoms of coronavirus than making negative Covid-19 test result a requirement to return to school.