For two decades, Telesis School, situated in the Alakuko area of Lagos, thrived as an academic centre, striving to provide sound education for many families resident in the community and its environs. But, as schools resumed across the country recently for a new academic session, the gates of the institution has remained shut to the teaching staff and pupils.
A former official in the Finance Department of the school told our correspondent, on condition of anonymity, on Thursday that the closure was due to the present economic recession in the country.
He said, “The school was established in 1996 and it has survived many challenges. Before the economic situation in the country got this bad, it had a good standard and we could not afford go below it. Then parents began to owe the management a lot of money and they started withdrawing their children from the school in large numbers.
“When we asked why they were taking the kids to other schools that fell below the standard of our school, some of them told us that they had lost their jobs, while others had changed jobs. We used to have between 300 and 400 pupils. When the population suddenly came down to about 50, the proprietress then told us she had to close down the school rather than owe the staff salaries.”
But investigation shows that the TS is only one of several schools in Alakuko, affected by the present economic situation. When our correspondent visited the premises last week, the main building, which housed classrooms, was empty. There was no indication that academic activities took place in the building a few months ago.
A former member of the teaching staff of the school also told our correspondent that a series of events led to the closure.
“A lot of factors have contributed to the closure of the school. Apart from the fact that parents were owing money, we were being owed salaries before the school eventually packed up,” she said.
Although the Vice-President, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Chief Yomi Otubela, told our correspondent that the recession had indeed forced many schools to close down.
“Unofficial reports have claimed that schools are closing down. Some proprietors are even putting up their schools for sale, so that they can go into other businesses. The recession has forced many parents, who used to pay their children’s fees before resumption, to plead to schools proprietors for understanding, so that they can pay in December. It has happened in my school, too,’’ he said.
As the recession bites harder, more schools appear to be crumbling under the impact. Others are struggling to survive the hard times. Burdened by non-payment of salaries and rising inflation, many parents have opted to withdraw their children from high-paying private schools to medium-priced private schools or public schools.
Also, while some schools have offered discounts to parents so as to retain their pupils, others have reviewed their payment plans in order to reduce the burden borne by parents.
However, educationists who spoke with our correspondent described the situation as a “mixed bag of experiences”. In some of the schools monitored by our correspondent, officials claimed that there was no significant drop in attendance. But, in a few others, the proprietors lamented poor turnout and enrolment rate for the new session.
A teacher in Masterpiece Schools, Lagos, Mr. Bode Aguda, said that seven pupils had yet to resume in his class. However, he added that the class gained some new members who were withdrawn from neighbouring schools.
”I am still expecting the seven pupils, but we also gained a few newcomers. Some of them came from schools that have shut down. The rest were withdrawn by their parents from more expensive schools in the area. The impact of the recession is real, but we are also getting new pupils,” he said.
The situation was not different at the Mind Builders School in Ikeja, Lagos. While admitting that some parents asked for concessions, the Chairman of the school, Mr. Bosun Falore, said that the turnout on resumption day did affirm that many parents would ensure that their children got quality education.
“The attendance was okay. Most of the pupils that were absent had not returned from their holiday trips. The effect of the recession was not as drastic as we expected. My conclusion is that quality education is paramount to most parents. A parent would prefer to sacrifice food than to sacrifice quality education. There has been no substantial drop in attendance.
“It needs to be mentioned that some returning parents requested to pay their children’s fees in installments. We decided to give discounts to parents who have more than two children in the school. We have also ensured that our tuition fees remain the same for our older customers,” he said.
Although some pupils have not resumed in her school, the Chief Operating Officer, Supreme Education Foundation, Lagos, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, is confident that they will join their colleagues soon. The educationist, who spoke with our correspondent in a telephone interview on Wednesday, said, “We are still at the same level that we were before the holidays. Some pupils are not back, but they should be in school soon. We know it is harder for the parents, but it looks like we are still in the same level as we were.”
At Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, the Vice Principal, Mr. Muraino Olusesi, said that the turnout on resumption day did not call for concern.
“We have since resumed for the new academic session. Only a few pupils have not returned to school and we are in touch with them. We have told those parents who could not pay their children’s fees at a go that we can structure a payment plan to benefit both parties,” he said.
#EndSARS: Hoodlums vandalize Senator Gershom Bassey’s family house in Calabar
Senator Gershom Bassey’s resident has been vandalized and looted by hoodlums rampaging the streets of Calabar.
Information Nigeria gathered that the hoodlums overpowered the security men attached to the property.
This is in spite of the 24 hours curfew declared in Cross River state.
Some of the buildings already vandalised include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office along Marian Road, Cross River State Transport Regulatory Agency (CRTRA) office and banks along Mayne Avenue and 8-Miles Calabar.
Federal institutions like the Ministry of Agriculture, Cross River Basin Authourity, and Federal Psychiatric Hospital were also vandalized.
Houses belonging to some politicians were not spared. Some of those affected include Senators Gershom Bassey and Victor Ndoma Egba. Bassey’s houses located at Mayne Avenue by White and the one at Asari Iso were looted and burnt.
Egba’s house located within the same Asari Iso axis was also vandalized.
To restore normalcy, military personnel have reportedly taken over major streets.
Hoodlums loot electronic store in Osogbo
Hoodlums have looted an electronic store in Osogbo, Osun State’s capital
It was gathered that some military personnel later stopped the hoodlums and recovered some goods.
In a new video sighted online, hoodlums were seen looting an electronic shop in Osogbo, Osun state.
The hoodlums were seen taking away motorbike and other electronic gadgets.
However, many netizens after watching the video have condemned it.
Lekki Massacre: Forensic Analysis Shows Videos Were Genuine
Forensic analysis of videos showing the killing of protesters at the Lekki toll-gate area by soldiers on Tuesday has shown them to be authentic, in spite of the Nigerian Army’s classification of the reports as fake and the Defence Headquarters’ claim that the videos were doctored.
In a report published by the Digital Forensic Research (DRF) Lab on Thursday, it noted that open-source evidence contradicted these denials.
“Several videos corroborate the location and presence of Nigerian soldiers at the Lekki Toll Plaza, a major toll highway toll concession in the south of Lagos,” said Jean Le Roux, the lab’s Research Associate for Southern Africa.
“Video footage posted on Twitter place Nigerian soldiers at the plaza, where they are seen approaching peaceful demonstrators and opening fire. Subsequent footage shows injured civilians being carried away from the same location.”
Using four videos, the DFRLab geolocated the shooting at the toll-gate “despite denials by the Nigerian military”.
“A different video shows what appears to be soldiers of the Nigerian army approaching protesters where they were stationed behind plastic barriers. Soldiers approached the group and opened fire. No warning is heard in the video. Muzzle flashes indicate that several of the shots seen and heard here were fired into the air,” it stated.
It confirmed using features close to the toll-gate and across the channel that the video was taken “looking into a northern direction on the eastern part of the toll gate, suggesting that protesters were approached from both the east and west by law enforcement, as suggested by some witnesses”.
“Video footage also identified injured protestors at the same scene. The author of a video uploaded to Twitter on October 20 shows injured and bloodied protestors with the author claiming they were shot by soldiers. As the video pans, a parking garage to the south of the toll gate can be seen,” DFRLab continued.
“Another video taken in front of the toll gate showed several injured protestors being carried off in the presence of camouflaged soldiers, presumably the same soldiers seen in the second video above. At least two protestors are carried away, while a third is seen on the ground during the video.”
Geolocation of the last video placed soldiers at the southern section of the toll-gate’s eastern part.
“Despite denials by the Nigerian Army, open-source evidence links the presence of Nigerian soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate at the same time as the first reports of shooting came in,” the organisation emphasised.
“Video footage also showed Lekki Toll Gate protestors, who had been peaceful in the preceding 11 days, bloodied and injured in the presence of these soldiers.”
According to Amnesty International, an on-the-ground investigation revealed that at least 10 people were killed when armed officials of the Nigerian Army opened fire on the protesters.
“These shootings clearly amount to extrajudicial executions. There must be an immediate investigation and suspected perpetrators must be held accountable through fair trials. Authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies for the victims and their families,” it said.
News Credit ~ HumAngle
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