In response to the drowning death of Chidere Eze, a five-year-old student, the Lagos State Government has declared the closure of a school owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in the state, Redeemers.
The student apparently perished in May 2020; while participating in a swimming session sponsored by the Redeemers school at a private facility in the city’s Ikeja neighbourhood.
According to a government statement, a further examination into Redeemers school discovered that it had not finished its registration; therefore, unfit to operate.
The statement which was signed by the Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo, noted the school will remain closed; “pending an administrative investigation of its operations and procedures; as well as the conduct of its officials – in line with schools’ safety standards and guidelines.”
“The investigation is a sequel to the death of a five-year-old pupil, who is suspected to have drowned during a swimming lesson while in the custody of the school. The police are investigating the matter.
“A preliminary probe by the Office of Education Quality Assurance of the Ministry has shown that the Redeemers Nursery and Primary School, Ogba, is yet to conclude its registration and is, therefore, not yet an approved school,” the statement reads in part.
Mrs Adefisayo said her ministry is concerned about the pupils’ safety; adding that “the school will remain closed until all the required approval processes are concluded.”
She advised the parents and guardians to note the closure and await the conclusion of the investigation.
In May, it was reported that the school took about 15 pupils to Ivory Health Club; Ogundana Street, in Ikeja, for a swimming lesson but allegedly used an adult pool.
However, according to The Punch Newspaper, the father of the drowned pupil; Anthony Eze, narrated how his child battled for survival for more than 30 minutes until he could no longer cope under the water.
The pupils were said to have been taken to the adult pool while the teachers; caregivers, and lifeguards were unaware that the child had drowned.
Meanwhile, according to the report, the police said some officials of the school were arrested but that the investigation was still ongoing.