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Fear Over Private Schools Registration …Committee Set To Visits Schools

Stakeholders and proprietors of private schools in Rivers State have lamented the order of Governor Nyesom Wike, revoking the approval license of all private schools in River State.

Speaking during the stakeholders meeting organized by the fact finding committee set up by the state government to prequalify all private schools operating in the state, many of the stakeholders expressed fears over the implication of closing down some schools in the state.

A lecturer at the Ignatius Ajuru University Dr. G. Nwokocha in is reaction expressed the view that the closure of some private schools by the government will come with enormous economic and social hardship to owners of the schools and those working in the institutions.

Nwokocha said since the private schools provides employment to large member of graduates from universities and Colleges of Education, the closure of the schools will impact negatively on families and dependants of those to be affected.

He urged the government to tamper justice with mercy by possibly seek to upgrade the schools and where necessary merge some schools for better management and facility development.

The University lecturer suggested the degrading of schools whereby some of the private schools with lower facility and poor quality are made to provide education only at the Nursery schools level, while some others may be limited to managing primary school and bigger schools could be categorized and allowed to run both primary and secondary schools.

He justified the government’s position on the quality of manpower in the schools stating that the state government can monitor schools to ensure compliance to education curriculum, quality standard and infrastructural development in the schools.

Elder Abbe Kaleb, in his contribution at the interactive session, lamented the conditions set by the government for the pre-approval of the schools noting that the proprietors were expected to attach the building plan of their school in the approval applications.

Kaleb regretted that most schools operate on leased and hired properties and wondered how some of the new schools would be able to meet the conditions.

He also decried the planned closure of some schools which may not meet the condition, stating that the action will increase unemployment in the state.

Other stakeholders expressed dismay that the government could can cal approval licenses granted to schools that have existed over the years.

They called for a graduated system in which some of the schools lacking in certain areas would be allowed to improve their facilities with time.

Prof. Okey Oruchukwu of the University of Port Harcourt and a member of the committee, who spoke to newsmen after the meeting, debunked the view that the committee would order the closure of some private schools for not meeting up the standard.

According to the Professor, the work of the committee is to ensure that standard and quality educations are met by the schools.

He said the committee may give consideration to schools to enable them upgrade and update in certain areas, adding that the requirements laid down by the state Ministry of Education, must be complied with by the schools.

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