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Covid-19 in Nigeria

Kaduna shuts private school for conducting entrance exams during lockdown

Valentine Chinyem

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The Kaduna state school quality assurance authority says it has shut Future Leaders International School in Unguwar Rimi for conducting entrance examination in violation of the coronavirus quarantine order.

According to NAN, Umma Ahmad, director-general of the agency, who broke the news on Thursday, said that the school’s license would also be revoked.

Ahmad explained that the school was shut down on Wednesday for conducting entrance examination into Junior Secondary School I (JSS I) and Senior Secondary School I (SSI) for 70 pupils.

She added that they found 34 teaching and non-teaching staffer, including construction workers within the school premises.

The action, Ahmad said, was in violation of the federal government COVID-19 quarantine order, which directed that all schools should remain close.

The official added that the government had held series of meetings with the leadership of the Nigerian Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) in the state on why schools should remain closed.

She also pointed out that Nasir el-Rufai, the state governor, had on June 9, categorically directed that all schools should remain closed.

“But against this directive, we learnt that Future Leaders International School had asked pupils and students to come to the school to write entrance examination into JSS I and SS I,” she said.

“On getting there, we met 70 pupils and students writing the examination, with 34 teaching and non-teaching staffs as well as construction ongoing in the school.

“In fact, half of the pupils and students were not wearing face masks, a situation that put the children at risk of contacting the Coronavirus.

“I, therefore, sent the pupils out, invited their parents and closed the school as directed by Shehu Makarfi, the commissioner of education.”

When contacted, Margarita Osuala, the proprietor of the school, said: “I will not speak right now, but I will get back to you.”

Reacting to the development, Philip Iorhena, NAPPS secretary, appealed to the government to be lenient on the matter. He also wondered why the school would flout government’s directive.

“Notwithstanding, we apologise on behalf of the school and we are appealing to the state government for leniency,” he said.

NAN