The Bayelsa State Government has confirmed the move to shut down over 250 private primary and secondary schools in the state over the failure to measure up to standards.
The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, who made this known during an interaction with newsmen in Yenagoa, said the state ministry had gone round the schools, investigated them and compiled the list of all unqualified private schools.
He said that in no distant time, the affected private schools would be made public to enable the people of Bayelsa to take precautionary measures.
Obuebite also said that most of those schools would be denied accreditation/approval to take West Africa Examinations Council (JSS) and other national examinations done in the state.
He said, We have a problem of proliferation of private schools. Some private schools operate in one-bedroomed flat and some in a single room. We have gone round; we have investigated and we have compiled all the schools that are not qualified in the private schools sub-sector in this state.
“They (unqualified private schools) will all be published in due course. We do not want our pupils to be pitied because most of these schools I am going to deny them accreditation to write junior WAEC or any other national examinations we do in this state.”
“We have over 500 private schools and more than half of them are going. We have looked at the infrastructure; We have looked at the teachers’ needs, the enviroment, all those parameters we have put them together.”
“However, we will encourage some of them to improve, looking at what they have and the location they are. But I tell you more than half of those schools are going to be closed down.”
“I am not doing this in isolation. I met with them. For the very first time, all private school operators in the state were invited to a meeting in Yenagoa and we discussed all these issues. We also invited their unions to be part of the process.”
“We have done our work and we will make it public so that individuals will not pay school fees to schools that will be closed down. Those schools that will not be registered will be deregistered. Some of them have certificate of registration, but we will de-register them.”
Obuebite said that the private schools were given a probation period to improve and put things in order, regretting that up until now, they had yet to do anything about that but were busy collecting money from people.
“We are going to make all those unqualified schools public for Bayelsa people to know them. We will mention the names of the schools, their locations and their proprietors for the public to be guided appropriately,” he stated.
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