No fewer than 160 schools operating illegally in the state have been closed by the Ogun State Government. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Mr. Segun Odubela, in a report he issued in Abeokuta yesterday on the kick off of the second phase of the clampdown of illegal schools, said those affected were shut within the last two weeks of the exercise.
Odubela recalled that first of the five cardinal programmes of the Amosun administration is the provision of affordable qualitative education, adding that “in addition to abolishing school fees and providing free education, including the distribution of free text books and infrastructural materials to public schools, the government has a statutory duty to regulate education being provided in the private sector”.
He assured that the government is committed to putting a stop to the menace of illegal schools “because some people who are not qualified to provide education or whose premises do not meet the required standard are insistent on operating illegal schools as a money making venture. Lamenting that such operators are damaging the future of children of Ogun State with their selfish objectives, the commissioner said among the 160 illegal schools “were some staffed by persons with no formal education beyond primary level.
In one case, a proprietor housed children within her provision store, regularly leaving the children to attend to customers. Others were found operating in dangerous uncompleted buildings and other unsuitable premises”. While revealing that government officials are now being deployed to confirm the registration status of every private school in the state, Odubela said those unregistered, but deemed capable of meeting the standard would be given the opportunity to regularize their status, whilst those considered not capable of meeting the requirements would be closed immediately.
The timing of the exercise, he stated, has been planned to minimize disruption to the children, such that by the end of the current term, every school status would be known and published, allowing parents to make informed choices for their children. He said Ogun State, being the cradle of modern education, would not be associated with sub standard education.