The Lagos State Government says that it would not allow any school to operate in the state without approval as from the next academic session, adding that it will scrap over 10, 000 unapproved private schools in the state in 2016/2017 academic session.
Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who disclosed this at the 3rd quarter stakeholder’s forum with the theme “Entrenching Best Practices”, held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, said government was not comfortable with the discovery that over 15,000 private schools are operating in the state and only 4,556 are approved and registered.
According to her, “in essence, about two-third of private schools are operating illegally in the state”.
She revealed that government’s attempt to capture all schools irrespective of their approval status was frustrated as most unregistered schools failed to take advantage of the opportunity and easier procedure put in place by the Ministry of Education.
According to her, the government was neither deterred not frustrated, rather it will in the course of time engage with the various associations on the way forward.
Adebule, while congratulating proprietors of 119 schools who received their letters of approval at the event, recalled that 114 private schools got their provisional approval letters in April.
She noted that as enabler and regulator, government had reviewed and streamlined the school registration processes by ensuring that registration was time bound and the procedure and processes for the establishment of private schools are transparent.
She opined that “no nation or society can develop better than its quality of human capital. Meanwhile, the foundation of quality human capitals are the primary and secondary learning institutions”.
She added that the stakeholders forum was called to further demonstrate avowed commitment to continuously evolve inclusive education sector development strategies for Lagos State and called on private schools proprietors to join hands with the state government to consolidate energies, integrate their thought and work as a team if the state must become the model of excellence in education delivery not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
The Deputy Governor who used the forum to flag-off the school census for private schools noted that the Lagos State government as a responsible facilitator seeks to ensure that all children have access to high-quality learning environment as well as establish effective regulatory policies to make quality education possible and sustainable.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adesina Odeyemi, warned school proprietors in the state about the existence fraudsters in the metropolis parading themselves as education officers.
He implored individuals and associations not to offer gratification or bribe to any official over the non-payment of dues as no official was mandated to collect such dues.
Mr. Odeyemi added that whatever is due as legitimate fund for Government should be paid directly to the coffers of the State not by proxy and whenever the proprietors are not sure of what to do, they should feel free to seek advice in the Ministry.
He assured them that, the Ministry was ready more than ever before to take up issues bothering on extortion, overzealousness or any other vice on the part of our personnel.
The Permanent Secretary noted that there is need for all hands to be on deck to promote and ensure that values are upheld and standards maintained in the Education Sector, especially in this era of economic recession. He stressed that Parents must have value for money and the learners to be properly groomed.