We Have Negotiated Huge Discount On Covid-19 Test For Private Schools Students, Says OGSG - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Sunday, August 2, 2020

We Have Negotiated Huge Discount On Covid-19 Test For Private Schools Students, Says OGSG

Ronke Soyombo, SA on Basic and Secondary Education in Ogun state

Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji 
ABEOKUTA - Despite public outcry against the compulsory payment of N25,000 for covid-19 test by private primary and secondary schools students ahead of reopening of schools for WAEC and common entrance students on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, the state government has said it has negotiated for huge discount on payment of covid-19 test for the students. 

THE ENCOUNTER NEWS reports that, 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. 

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

The protesters 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 governor Dapo Abiodun.

The aggrieved parents 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 schools.

But the state government in a press release signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Basic and Secondary Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo noted that, the test for boarding students was just one of the measures jointly developed and agreed with the parents, school owners, health experts and relevant government agencies. 

Soyombo further explained that, the state government would bear full cost of the covid-19 test for all the boarding SS3 students in the state-owned public schools. 

According to the statement, Ogun State is arguably the State with the highest number of schools (public and private) operating boarding facilities in the country with students’population drawn from far and wide. 

The Special Adviser emphasized that the state government has negotiated a huge discount in the cost of covid-19 test with some healthcare service providers to further assist the private schools. 


She added that, all private school owners are expected to ensure that all their boarding students are certified covid-19 test negative before being admitted into their boarding facilities. 

She said, "In view of this and the need to avoid community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic amongst our children in the boarding facilities and invariably the State as a whole, additional requirements for opening of boarding facilities in all the secondary schools in the State were agreed. 

"A key additional requirement is presentation of certificate of negative COVID-19 test before a student is admitted to the boarding facility in both public and private schools in the State. 

"However, the following implementation details should be noted; The government will bear the full costs of the COVID-19 Test for all the boarding SS3 students in the State-ownedpublic schools.

"All private school owners are also expected to ensure that all their boarding students are certified COVID-19 test negative before being admitted into their boarding facilities.

"To further assist the private schools, Ogun State Government has negotiated a huge discount in the cost of COVID-19 Test with some healthcare service providers.

"However, private school owners and parents are free to engage any other service provider of their choice provided that the service provider is certified by NCDC as COVID-19 Test service provider.


"Indeed, Certificate of negative COVID-19 Test from other locations across the country will be tenable provided, as usual, it is from an NCDC certified centre and the test has been performed within 72 hours of the date of resumption.

"Only boarding facilities directly operated by schools will be allowed to operate to enable government monitoring of such facilities for compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

"Parents and school owners are enjoined to work together to ensure that health and safety of our students is of paramount consideration at all times. Should any private school owner and parents desire a waiver of COVID-19 Test requirement for boarding students, a joint representation of the school owner and the parents should be made to the government and this shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.  

"Amongst other such initiatives, government has commenced distribution of facemasks to all the schools in Ogun State – public and private – for the use of returning SS3 students and their teachers," the statement concluded.

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