The leadership of the private school proprietors in Nigeria has expressed its support for what it described as a thorough and unbiased investigation into the indecent conduct of some pupils of Chrisland Schools in Lagos State.
The group- National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), however, likened the decision by the Lagos State Government to indefinitely shut down all branches of the school in the state to throw the baby away with the bathwater.
NAPPS said in a statement, which was signed by its president, Yomi Otubela, that the government’s decision would jeopardise the interest of other learners, especially those registered for the senior school certificate examination (SSCE).
The West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) are scheduled to commence in few weeks.
Some Chrisland students had gotten involved in an indecent act while representing their school at the World School Games held in Dubai in March and filmed the act. The matter had generated social media outrage and sparked conversations around parenting.
The state government had shut down the schools shortly after the news circulated.
The statement read in part; “While we are in support of the swift move by the Lagos state government to investigate the issue, we view with concern the recent announcement of the state government to shut down all branches of Chrisland Schools in the state over the said s3x video.
“We feel shutting down all the branches of the school might deny other children their rights to learn more and for those in the terminal classes the right to continue their preparation for their final examinations.
“Equally of concern is the fact that the parents, as observed above, are not always available for the upkeep of their children. So we are disturbed about what will become of these children for the period of the closure.”
The group condemned the minors’ s3x video while appealing to the public to refrain from making unsavoury comments concerning the issue for the sake of the mental well being of the pupils involved.
Mr Otubela said while schools and parents are to be blamed for the growing moral decadence in the country, he insisted that the latter has a larger share of the blame.
“This neglect of parental responsibility from home has made it a herculean task for the school to achieve much progress,” he said, adding that; “For instance, when the background of a child is already faulty and without the needed support from home to effectively collaborate with the school management to address the identified challenges, one can only imagine how such a child will turn out to be in society.”
Mr Otubela faulted the school for allowing students of such age bracket to sleep alone without the presence of a teacher of the same s3x.
He added that it is the school’s responsibility to complement the efforts of the parents.
He, however, noted that the collaboration between the parent and school is lacking in the educational system.
Mr Otubela said: “Parents are not usually present to monitor their children at home due to pressure from work and unending heavy vehicular traffic, especially in the city. This makes many parents leave home as early as 5 am and return home from 9 pm. No quality time with the children.
“Given the gross reduction in moral values, parents are advised to pay special attention to the emotional needs of their children. Also, we are aware of the fact that we are in an era where the use of technological devices has become imperative to advance the course of mankind, parents must ensure that they devise a means to monitor what their children watch to restrict them from accessing adult sites at home.
“Some television programs, including reality TV shows, should be properly censored by appropriate government agencies before allowing them on cable TV.”
The group also urged every school to have a child protection policy in place and properly engage parents, staff, students and others on how to ensure strict adherence to the instructions contained in the policy.
The group advised schools, parents and guardians to restrict technological devices of their wards to educational sites only.