The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools has faulted the shutdown of all Chrisland Schools in Lagos State over an immoral act involving students of the school.
The PUNCH had reported that Chrisland sanctioned five of its students over the act.
The students engaged in the immoral act during a trip to Dubai in March 2022, when they went to partake in the World School Games.
Following the controversies that surrounded the incident, the Lagos State Government ordered an indefinite shutdown of all branches of Chrisland Schools in the state.
The government also warned against sharing of a sex tape involving minors, saying whoever shares such a video risks 15-year jail term.
But the school owners in a statement by their National President, Chief Yomi Otubela, on Thursday, disagreed with the government’s shutdown of all Chrisland branches.
“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 sex 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 thier 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 this children. So we are disturbed about what become of this children for the period of the closure .
“However, we support that Lagos State Monitoring and Supervisory committee be introduced among Chrisland Schools Management team pending the conclusion of the investigation.
“We await the outcome of the government investigation on the alleged gross negligence on the part of Chrisland Schools to allow students of such age bracket sleep alone without the presence of a teacher of same sex, as well as the allegations of the school poor communication, the delayed for over a month after the incident before calling the attention of the minor’s parents to the exact issue. This will help us take informed decisions.
“We recommend that the children involved should be taken to experts in mental health for adequate intervention and rehabilitation,” the statement read in part.
NAPPS explained that most studies showed that parents should take the larger portion of the blame for children’s behaviour.
It also asked school management and teachers to be fully equipped to adequately protect learners put under their watch by not neglecting their duty of care to their learners.
The statement added, “While we condemn in its entirety the act as depicted in the said video involving the minors, we appeal for caution from members of the public and enjoin them to refrain from making unsavoury comments over the issue for the sake of the mental well being of the minors involved.
“The acts portraying moral decadence are not exclusive to schools as the issue cuts across every aspect of our society. Since children are a reflection of the society they live in, it, therefore, shows that a concerted effort will be needed to nip the malaise in the bud.
“Most studies show that parents are to take the larger portion of the blame for children’s behaviour, hence, parents must take a greater role in shaping their children’s future by inculcating morally acceptable behaviour in them. They must bear in mind that children’s moral development begins at home. The school is to complement their efforts.
“Unfortunately, parents are shying away from this responsibility rather they prefer to shift this responsibility to the schools.
“This neglect of parental responsibility from home has made it a herculean task for the school to achieve much progress. 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.
“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 the reality TV shows, should be properly censored by appropriate government agencies before allowing them on cable TV .
“The school management must be alive to its responsibility by taking decisive actions on the issue of morally bankrupt learners in their schools without fear and favour. Appropriate and well-documented steps must be taken to deal with deviant behaviours noticed in their learners.
“Every school should have a child protection policy in place and properly engage parents, staff members, students and other stakeholders on how to ensure strict adherence to the instructions contained in the policy. Technological devices used by students in schools must be restricted to ensure students are limited to educational sites only.
“The society should pay equal attention in counselling boy child as we do for girl child. They both need to be fully guarded and provided for as they approach puberty.”