Ogun state government has said that the COVID-19 test requirement for SSS 3 boarding students will be free for state-owned public schools.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Sunday by Ronke Soyombo, special adviser to the governor on basic and secondary education.
The state had announced on Friday that boarding students in SSS 3 must submit a document certifying them negative for the coronavirus before resumption of schools on August 4.
However, parents of students in private schools expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement, as they were asked to pay for the COVID-19 test at the accredited health care facilities as directed by the state government.
“The clarification has become necessary to remind the general public, particularly parents and operators in the education sector, of government position, which is based on the guidelines jointly developed and agreed by parents, private school owners, government representatives and other stakeholders,” the statement read.
“The government will bear the full costs of the COVID-19 test for all the boarding SS3 students in the state-owned public 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 it is certified by the National Centre for Disease Control (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.”
Soyombo added that only boarding facilities directly operated by schools would be allowed to reopen so as to enable the state government monitor them for compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.