The Lagos State Government has announced the reopening of Chrisland school one week after its abrupt closure over an alleged sexual misconduct by five pupils of the school during an international trip.
The government had on Monday announced the closure of all the branches of the school in the state.
It said the development became necessary towards ensuring safety of the students and staff, “and to ensure unhindered investigation of the incident.”
But ahead of the resumption of third term in the ongoing 2021/2022 academic session, the state government, via a statement signed by the commissioner for education, Folasade Adefisayo, directed the schools to reopen on Monday.
The statement reads in part:
“The Lagos State Ministry of Education has directed that all Chrisland Schools shut for alleged misconduct of some students in Dubai be reopened from Monday April 25th, 2022.
“The directive follows a review of the ongoing administrative investigation into the incident. Besides, it is to ensure that students are not denied access to learning when the new term begins on Monday 25th April, 2022.”
Meanwhile, without stating the status of the investigation reportedly launched into the alleged scandal, the government said the education ministry and other agencies in the state would collaborate with the schools parent teachers’ association (PTA) to provide psychosocial support for the affected students.
The statement added that an “extensive assessment of the school’s procedure, especially on external trips and excursions, is being made to identify safety gaps and prevent such incidents.”
“Besides, the ministry will launch the reviewed guidelines/protocols governing private and public schools across the state within the next one month.”
A video had on Monday gone viral on social media of alleged sexual violation by five pupils of the school, attracting wide criticism from the public.
The alleged scandal had happened when Chrisland School was in Dubai in March to take part in the World School Games, a four-day annual competition with schools from all over the world.
The development came less than four years after a teacher in the school, Adegboyega Adenekan, was convicted and sentenced to 60 years jail term for raping a two-year-old female pupil.
The government, while announcing the closure of the school, had also warned against circulation of the sex tape via any medium by anyone. It threatened to invoke the law against anyone found guilty of doing such.
“It is pertinent to note that all allegations are being investigated by the relevant ministries, departments and agencies, including the ministry of education, office of education quality assurance, ministry of youth and social development, ministry of justice and the Lagos State Domestic & Sexual Violence Agency, whilst the criminal allegations have been escalated to the Commissioner of Police,” the statement had read in part.
The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) had during the week appealed to the government to reconsider its position on the continued closure of the school.
It said the decision would negatively affect other learners in the school, and especially those sitting external examinations.
The association’s national president, Yomi Otubela, who signed the statement, condemned the conduct and pledged collaboration with the government and all other concerned parties to prevent recurrence of such conducts in any of its member-schools and elsewhere.