COVID-19: Chrisland School trying to exploit the situation

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Chrisland Schools

THE Management of Chrisland Schools Limited maybe shopping for trouble and heading for possible fracas with parents of their students and pupils judging by a recent letter the Managing Director of the school, Mrs. I.O. Adeyemi, dispatched to parents. The letter dated April 18, 2020, which many consider “insensitive” following the ongoing Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, that is ravaging countries of the world, including Nigeria, is asking parents to get their wards ready for an examination.

Chrisland management did not consider the fact that nobody envisaged the lockdown, which is also an indication that some parents may not have the required gadgets and infrastructure to enable their wards prepare for the examination. Aside that, the statement went ahead to inform parents that Chrisland would go ahead to resume for the third term on Monday April 27, 2020 when the government of Lagos State and indeed most states across the country ordered for a lockdown.

According to the statement, “As stated in our previous newsletter, the outstanding papers will be written upon resumption for the third term. In preparation for this, there will be revision next week for learners in Years 7, 8, 10 and 11. The learners in the terminal classes, 9 &12 will, however, continue with their online studies. The timetable for the examination will be released next week. Kindly encourage your wards to prepare adequately for the examinations.”

All over the world however, examinations are indicators of academic rigour and excellence of an institution, hence the focus by schools and regulatory authorities in ensuring examinations and the conditions in which they are written are controlled and standardised. However going by the notice of Chrisland Schools Management, the integrity of the academic process seem to be of less importance as administering exams in pupils homes in an uncontrolled environment raises a grave question about the integrity and reputation of the school as a whole. Similarly, the school seem not to have given deep thoughts to the logistics involved in pupils writing examinations from their homes.

From our findings, some families have multiple kids in the school, which is another logistics challenge in setting up separate computer systems, and comfortable examination spaces for such children. It actually seems impracticable. Amongst many other flaws in this decision by the School, Chrisland did not seem to have given much rigour to the thought behind its decision, which as observed is not adopted by other schools of similar standard all over Lagos. This also casts a great aspersion of the role of government in regulating private schools in Nigeria as a whole. Ideally, the government sets the calendar and guidelines for schools, it should not be possible for a private school to plan to conduct an examination when the State Government has closed all schools within the state. If this is allowed to fester, it is a clear failure of the educational regulatory system.

According to the school, “The online school resumes officially for the third term on Monday, April 27, 2020, and will kick off with the completion of the outstanding second term examinations. The examinations, which will be in CBT format will hold between April 27 and May 8, 2020. For primary school pupils, the examinations will hold between April 27 & 28, while secondary school students will write their examinations from April 29 – May 8, 2020.

“A mock examination will be conducted on April 22 to further prepare the learners adequately for the examinations. This will be written by both primary and secondary school learners. It is to help the learners test run the CBT and get familiarized with it before the main examination.”

The school however said they were mindful and empathetic towards the attendant effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economies and finances of both nations and individuals. As a result, they said the management of Chrisland has decided to cushion the effect by making payment of the school fees flexible and much more bearable for our parents.

“Please note that this term’s bill can be paid in two instalments of 50 percent each. The first half has been discounted considering there are some services we will not be rendering during the lockdown, like feeding, club and other activities. It is hoped that the lockdown order will be repealed before the mid-term, hence the full 50 percent fees payment for the second half of the term. Should the lockdown continue, however, the same discount applies. Please note also, that there is an additional discount on the total bill for any parent who pays the entire fees for the term on resumption. Once the school fees are paid, a password will be generated for the learners to log into the online school,” the statement concluded. It appears that the whole examination thing is geared towards collecting fees for the 3rd term.

Like many businesses all over the world, the school might run into funding issues as it has to keep paying its teachers and other financial commitment, but it seems this is done at the expense of the academic integrity of the school. There are many ways parents can be encouraged to make payments, while still keeping the integrity of the academic content intact.

– Apr. 21, 2020 @ 11:05 GMT |

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