The government of Ogun State has finally succumb to pressure from parents and students, stepping down the COVID -19 test fee of N25, 000 which was initially stated as a mandatory requirement for the returning students in exit classes.
Governor Dapo Abiodun made this known in a statement released on Monday.
The governor instructed testing centres to commence the conduct of free test immediately for all returning SSS3 students in private and public schools.
The government further directed that those that had already paid for the test should be refunded.
He stated: “After reviewing these developments, I have today immediately directed that the Government Laboratories carry out test 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 house in private secondary schools will be at the discretion of the management and the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) 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 inboth private and public schools.
“The inconvenience and confusion experienced yesterday is 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 in Ogun State. It is my prayer that this phase will end soonest.”