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Low turnout as pupils resume nationwide

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Pupils returning to school after the yuletide holidays yesterday. PHOTO: ISAAC TAIWO

• FG targets more Zebra crossings, road signs around FCT schools
The streets of Lagos yesterday got some stomping as pupils from kindergarten, nursery, primary and secondary schools in both private and public schools resumed from the three-week yuletide holidays and began a new term.

At one of the public schools complex in Agege, consisting Darocha, Ajegunle and Christ Apostolic Primary schools, pupils in their well-ironed uniforms marched excitedly to their classes happy to be reunited with their classmates.

Efforts to make one of the heads of the school comment on the resumption proved abortive, as he demanded a letter from the state government before he could speak with the press. However, some private schools visited held no inhibition to speak as they revealed their agenda for the new term.

A teacher at El-Peniel School, Ogba, Mr. ‘Shola Oyeleye, said he was enthusiastic about the resumption of the pupils. Oyeleye said the school’s focus to prepare the children for the future remains sacrosanct.

“Our ideal is entrenched in our plan to move the children forward this term. One of our first considerations is to continue to enhance our environment and make it conducive for learning while we remain undeterred in focusing attention on key subjects like English, Phonetics, Mathematics and the sciences to improve the spoken English of our children.

“We also want to see them riding high in academic performance while our goal to prepare a total child include nurturing them spiritually and morally not to fall prey to moral decadence that pervades the society today.”

The headmistress of Clevelend Nursery and Primary School, Ipaja, Mrs. Mayowa Adewale, said she also happy to have their children back from holidays and they remain committed to the mission of the school to move the children forward to attain greater heights in the future .

Master Philip Oluwafemi Isaac, an SS1 student of Benji Private Secondary School, said he enjoyed his holidays and was happy to resume a new term. His focus to be an engineer remains unchanged and he would study very hard this term to ensure he makes every subject that are necessary for his course of study.

Miss Deborah Ifeoluwa Adebayo, SS2 student of Keke Senior High School, said she spent part of her holidays outside Lagos and also attended her church’s retreat and congress programmes.

Some head of schools expressed their displeasure over the low turn out in the numbers of students, as some are wont to delay their resumption till the second week. The principal of Ewutuntun Senior Grammar School, Oshodi, Ayodeji Folayan, noted that late resumption may affect students’ performance as the school usually begin the term with a welcome test that is most likely to add up to the students’ Continuous Assessment.

However, some students who spoke to The Guardian said academic work don’t usually start fully in the first week of resumption. “We will be used to clean up the school premises and cut grasses, which the Lagos State government has banned. The government frowns at students cutting grasses but our teachers will still insist.”

Meanwhile, determined to reduce the daily occurrence of accidents in the nation’s capital, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Musa Bello, has directed the transportation and education secretaries to immediately put in place more zebra crossings and road signs across all schools in Abuja for safer roads for the children and other road users .

Speaking yesterday when he received the Kwapda’as Road Safety Demand (KRSD) Trust Fund group in Abuja, Bello stated that the administration was working to strengthen measures that would promote safety on the roads round schools in the FCT, to reduce road casualties and make the city a model for road safety in the country.

Bello appealed to stakeholders in the FCT, including Non-Governmental Organizations, individuals, government officials and institutions, to join the government in ensuring safety on the roads even as he called on road users to ensure that road traffic regulations are obeyed.

Earlier, a Justice of the Court of Appeal and president of Kwapda’s Road Safety Demand Trust Fund, Justice Monica Dongban, said she was motivated to spearhead the advocacy for road safety after her son lost his life after been struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Donggam promised she would do all she could to prevent similar accident to any other child stressing, ‘’it is an agony I would not want any parent to go through.’’

Primary and secondary schools in the FCT though recorded high turnout of students. At the Government Secondary School (GSS), Garki, the principal, Mr. Haruna Nabayi, said out of the 980 students in the school, 484 were in school on the first day of resumption.

“The school has just resumed its second term academic activities and we are expecting `bumper harvest both in academic and in number.’ Hopefully before the week runs out, all the students will resume. It is an indication that parents know we are serious.’’

But there was a low turnout in Oyo State after a three-week holiday. A visit to some of the schools in Ibadan metropolis revealed that although academic activities had commenced fully in many of the schools, there was a scanty student and pupil population.

Some of the schools visited in Ibadan included Oluyole High School in Fodasis area, Basorun Ogunmola High School on Ring Road and Ansarudeen High School on Liberty Road among others.

The Principal of Ansarudeen High school, Mr. Lawal Animasahun, said academic work had commenced with the teachers already attending to the students.

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