Private primary and secondary schools in Lagos State, irrespective of their accreditation status, that are yet to register with their respective education district in compliance with the new directive of the state government, have until August 10 to do so or face sanctions.
According to the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, the directive became imperative in line with the state government’s desire to ensure the delivery of quality education to all students in the state.
Adebule, who doubles as the Commissioner for Education, said: “The importance of the services being rendered by private educational institutions to the socio-economic development of the state and the nation cannot be overemphasised. The number of children in the various private schools are too numerous to be ignored, hence there is the compelling need to redefine the criteria for the delivery of quality education in the state.”
She stressed that the exercise is free, adding that it is neither aimed at generating revenue nor taxation. “It is inclined towards knowing the education service providers, visit them and monitor what they are doing to ensure that it is in line with the quality assurance regulation of schools below tertiary level with a view to improving learning outcomes.
“The administration places high premium on the education of our children whether they are in public or private schools. Thus, we have to ensure that the learning environment is conducive; the curricular and co-curricular activities are such that are in tandem with the vision of the state for the future of the pupils and students.”
The deputy governor added that the government owes responsibility to all students in the state whether in public or private schools, accredited or yet to be accredited to ensure that they are not half-baked. “It has set the pace by upgrading the infrastructure in our schools and injecting fresh bloods into teaching both at the primary and secondary levels. We want this reforms and transformation to happen at the private schools.
“Thus there is need to help them to meet the standard that is expected of them which will also grow their investment. Some of them for instance are oblivious of the fact that some financial institutions grant loans to schools to help them provide facilities that are required to grow.”
She said when the schools show up, the government will be able to guide them with necessary information and the steps to follow that would be of benefit to the proprietors, as they would be guided on how to meet accreditation criteria.
Adebule noted that the process was designed to eliminate touts and middle men who exploit schools and make the accreditation process look cumbersome; she warned that any school that refuses to register would be deemed to harbour ulterior motives and the state’s enforcement agents would sanction such school as appropriate.