Uproar In Ogun Over N25,000 Covid-19 Test For Students - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Uproar In Ogun Over N25,000 Covid-19 Test For Students


Some of the parents addressing journalists at the MTR hospital 

Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji 
ABEOKUTA - Scores of parents of children attending private schools in Ogun state on Sunday protested government's decision to charge the sum of N25, 000 on each students before testing them for COVID-19 ahead of their resumption on Tuesday, August 4.

The parents who besieged the MTR specialist hospital venue of the test queried the rationale behind the levy which they said they did not prepared for. 

The protestors also queried why government would impose any levy on students of private schools while their counterparts in public schools were tested free, arguing that the disparity was against the electioneering manifesto that brought in the present administration of free education. 

They further argued that, covid-19 test shouldn't be compulsory for students since the state government had instructed all schools to make adequate provisions for testing of their students before they resume in their respective school. 

Speaking with journalists, the Vice Chairman, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of one of the private schools in state, Dr. Kehinde Sanwo questioned why government should discriminate between students in public and private schools adding that, they are all children of the state that should be treated equally. 

"The parents here are good citizens of Ogun state which we are tax payers. And it is so disheartening that we are here at the MTR hospital the venue for covid-19 test. 

"When we arrived we are told pay N25,000. Whereas, some people who arrived earlier paid nothing. So, we don't know where the decision came from. Some of us have more than two children. Why these segregation?", she queried. 

Speaking with journalists at the venue of the test, Director of Public Health, Dr. Olukayode Soyinka said he was not aware of the N25,000 covid-19 test Levy on private schools students. 

Soyinka said covid-19 test before now had been free, stressing that he was just instructed by the state commissioner for health, Dr. Tomi Coker to make himself available at the venue to provide conducive environment for the students. 

He however disclosed that, the test was organized by the state government in conjunction with a private laboratory company, 54gene under the Public Private Partnership arrangement. 

One of the officials of 54gene declined comments on the ground that he lacked power to speak to the media. 

He however explained that, his company's activities at the testing ground had the approval of the state government.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the state governor on Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo said the state government would soon take position on the matter. 

"Can you please give me like 2-hours to respond to your inquisition because as at now, we are putting our heads together to be able to take a position on the matter.

"When you call me by 4: 30p.m, I should be able to respond and give you an authentic position".

2 comments:

  1. Above is for the attention of all, the background information is that sequel to the proposed resumption of the terminating students to enable them write their final examinations. It was said that the government of Ogun state has imposed a compulsory #COVID19 test on all returning students (though not a bad idea) but it was stated that parents will be made to pay mandatory #25,000 per student for such test for students in private schools, whereas no payment will be paid by the students in public schools.
    This alone is very discriminatory, does the people behind this draconian policy know that there are several pupils that attend some so-called private schools that even pay less than #20,000 per term? Do they know that many of such 'private' schools are even being owed by parents of their pupils? Are they aware of the current economic situation of many families, occasioned by the negative impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns and loss of livelihoods? Are they aware of happenings in other climes, where their governments are doing everything possible to relieve the suffering of her citizens, through various palliatives.
    The motives behind the test itself is questionable. Even if a child is tested positive during the test and few days later they contacted the disease in the cause of going up and down, will the purpose of the testing not have been defeated?
    Or are the private schools saying after the test, they will keep the students in the boarding house.

    If I understand what the government has said, they have only requested that every public returning to boarding must be tested.

    Will we all sympathise with private school owners our disruption in their source of income, they should NOT push their liabilities unto the parents who are also suffering one loss or the other and major disruption to their own sources of livelihoods.
    They should know that all sub-sectors of the economy both locally and internationally were equally affected.

    Our government both at the state and local government levels should be careful not to provoke the people into mass action.
    We should not forget that these parents will still be subjected to the payment of school fees outside this COVID-19 test.

    Our government should be seen at all times to be on the side of her people.

    Watch out!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We appreciate your efforts and contribution towards attaining a virile educational system. However, your fear and concern has been taken care of by the governor. So,the people have won sir.

    ReplyDelete

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