The Lagos State government has indicated its willingness to start enforcing the completion of six years primary education policy for all pupils who want to gain admission into Junior Secondary School 1 (JSS1) in both public and private schools in the state.
It said that had been a national policy on education for a long time, indicating the years pupils and students are expected to use at each level of education from primary to tertiary institutions in the country.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, gave this hint in a statement Tuesday last week in a reaction to a media report that the state government had pegged the age qualification of primary school pupils at 12 years minimum to secure admission into JSS1 in the state and that it would start enforcing the policy from next academic session as a way of stopping “underaged” pupils from gaining admission into that class.
She explained that even though, the state’s Ministry of Education had observed concerns from various stakeholders as regards the issue and also held meetings with them before the sudden closure of schools owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, no decision had been made, nor circular issued toward the implementation of such.
But she said the subject is already under review in the ministry and has been a matter of great concern for the current administration in the state.
Mrs Adefisayo, in the statement made available by the head of public affairs unit of the ministry, Mr Kayode Abayomi, said the adverse consequences of non-completion of primary school curriculum by pupils before rushing into JSS1 are enormous on physical, mental, emotional and social maturity of children.
Education, she stressed, is not only cognitive but also involves other aspects so as to produce a whole and functional youth who would be able to function effectively in the 21st century economy.
She said that further meetings had been scheduled with various stakeholders, including private schools’ associations and parent bodies, the Office of Education Quality Assurance, State Universal Basic Education Board, Lagos State Examination Board, All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), among others, for wider consultation over the proposal before it was postponed due to the exigencies of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the meetings would enable the state government to solicit the cooperation and participation of all stakeholders in the implementation of the National Policy on Education in the state.
Though the commissioner did not say anything in the statement concerning penalties for defaulters, she said meetings would still be held once normalcy returns in the country and the outcome would be made public accordingly.
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