Commissioner for Education, Science and
Technology, Barr. John Olusegun Odubela, in a report issued in Abeokuta, the state capital on Friday, marking the take-off of the second phase of the exercise, said those affected were shut within the last two weeks of the exercise.
Odubela recalled that first of the five cardinal programmes of the Ibikunle Amosun’s administration was the provision of affordable and qualitative education, adding that “in addition to abolishing of school fees and the provision of 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 was 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, operate illegal schools as a money making venture.”
Lamenting that such operators are damaging the future of children of the state with their selfish objectives, the Commissioner said that among the 160 illegal schools “were staff with persons of 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 an 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 regularise their status, while those considered not
capable of meeting the requirements would be closed immediately.
The timing of the exercise, he stated, has been planned to minimise disruption to the children, such that by the end of the current term, every school’s status would be known and published, allowing
parents to make informed choices for their children, adding that the state, being the cradle of modern education, would not be associated with sub-standard education.