The Abia Government is to return 31 primary and secondary schools established by missionaries to their original owners by the end of August, Dr Monica Philips, the Commissioner for Education, said.
Philips told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Sunday that ``Abia Government is targeting August, 2012, for the official handover of all the affected 31 schools to their original owners.
``We have already alerted the churches to gradually begin to put their own structures for a hitch--free hand-over.
``Government is not going to withdraw its teachers automatically from the affected schools, we must give them one to two years grace to be able to have a smooth transition.’’
She said teachers and students in the affected schools would be allowed to decide if they wanted to remain in the schools or be posted to other government schools.
The commissioner said that at the end of the 2011/2012 session, all government owned primary schools would stop holding the afternoon session because it was no longer rational to run such programme in Abia.
``Population, we have in the afternoon session is not encouraging. In some schools, you have 12 teachers, with less than 50 pupils to teach. The ratio shows a waste of resources and manpower on the part of government,’’ she said.
Philips said, ``most guardians register their house-helps and babysitters with the afternoon sessions, while their own children go for the morning session.
``Research also shows that pupils do not understand a subject like mathematics well in the afternoon. For this, we want to end afternoon session so as to give all children equal right to study in Abia.’’
She explained that the government introduced the afternoon session when the state had explosion in the enrolment of pupils but that at the moment the afternoon session had very thin population.
Philips advised teachers in the state to always put in their best, considering that the government was doing much to boost their morale through improved welfare. (NAN)