The Lagos State Government on Thursday gave the management of Dowen College, Lekki, conditions to be met before the school will be reopened for academic activities.
The government ordered the indefinite closure of Dowen College on December 3, 2021 after parents and extended family members of 12-year old Sylvester Oromoni Junior insisted that their son was murdered by senior pupils in the school.
Students, who were at the time writing their first term examinations, were asked to vacate the school abruptly without completing their examinations.
But reports said the school deployed technology to allow the student to complete their examination online.
The family’s lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, had written to the Chief Coroner of Lagos State requesting an inquest into the student’s death.
An autopsy conducted by the investigators, however, later revealed that the deceased died of “acute lung injury due to chemical intoxication in a background of blunt force trauma”.
The Lagos State Police Command has so far released the housemaster and other Dowen College staffer arrested in connection with the student’s death.
In a statement by the Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Ganiu Lawal, the government directed the school to fix administrative lapses and review boarding school guidelines.
The statement added that the ministry of education had directed the management of Dowen College to correct identified lapses in the school’s administration discovered during the ministry’s inspection and comprehensive investigation following the death of Oromoni.
The ministry was reacting to the advice of DPP to the police that Oromoni’s death could not be linked to alleged bullying, thus exonerated the five arrested students, staff and the college.
Lawal said the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, while clarifying the fate of Dowen College students in view of the resumption of schools for the second term in Lagos, disclosed that the ministry was reviewing the operational guidelines of boarding schools and the requirement for establishing a boarding school in the state.
She hinted that the ministry would begin the revalidation of all existing boarding school facilities after the mid-term holidays.
The commissioner said the ministry’s departments and agencies responsible for monitoring and inspection of schools were being overhauled to improve efficiency.
She concluded that Dowen College management has been mandated to fix school governance gaps and other regulatory issues, adding that “we will consider the possibility of reopening the school only when all issues surrounding school administration have been appropriately attended to”.
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