Concerns as parents, teachers await reopening of Queen’s College

It is not yet certain when Queen’s College, Lagos, will be reopened. The institution has remained shut for two months, following the outbreak of an illness believed to be caused by contaminated water.

“No date has been set for resumption,” a teacher from the college told the Nigerian Tribune, on Tuesday. “But we are hoping that we will reopen after the Easter break.”

The teachers, on Tuesday, were gathered at the college for a workshop. The meeting, which was held under the Senior Civil Servants was designed to discuss issues that bordered on quality assurance.

But it would seem that it is the parents who are most disturbed by the prolonged closure. A good number of them do not live in Lagos; those whose daughters are in the examination classes (JSS III and SSS III), were therefore, required to make arrangements for their children to live close to the institution throughout the period. Other parents have had to hire home tutors to keep their children engaged.

Not much has happened to reduce the tension. For example, it was gathered that, as at last weekend, about four students were still receiving treatment in hospitals in Lagos.

The death, two weeks ago, of a third student, identified as Praise Sodipo, had thrown more parents into a state of panic. The 14-year-old student, who was said to be an orphan and had been on the sick bed for a long time, died weeks after Vivian Osuiniyi and Bithia Itulua.

Aspects of the intervention work identified by health officials, which would address the challenges include: “decommissioning of multiple contaminated water sources, deployment of a single water source with water treatment, renovation of the dining hall, decontamination of the hostels, overhauling of the sewage system and clearance of the septic tanks.”

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who recently addressed journalists on the ongoing work in the institution, said, “It is pertinent to state that water samples from the only one of the multiple water delivery points still poses concern with regard to safety and this is being addressed.

To be specific, water samples from the delivery points to junior and senior students’ hostels conform to official specifications, while there is the need for additional decontamination of the reticulation to the kitchen and the sick bay.

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