Not less than 700 private schools may soon be shut down in Karu local government area of Nasarawa State due to lack of adequate facilities, among other standards set by the state government for establishment of schools by their owners.
General Secretary, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, NAPPS, in the local government area, Mr. Salihu Ilyasu, who dropped the hint in an interview yesterday, said out of 1, 300 private schools in the area, only 600 were officially approved for meeting the set standards.
He further disclosed that about 15 proprietors have been denied approval for lack of adequate facilities, among other expected criteria for establishing schools.
According to Ilyasu, the association had been working with the state Ministry of Education not only to ensure conducive teaching and learning environment, but to improve the standard of education in the state.
“The state Ministry of Education in collaboration with our association will begin inspection of private schools across the state in September this year. This is aimed at ensuring sanity in the education system.
“For instance, we have 1, 300 private schools in Karu local government out of which only 600 were given approval having met the standards set by the state government. Other schools did not meet the standard, while some proprietors are operating in their houses”, he said.
Though the association scribe commended the new Commissioner for Education in the state, he blamed the government for some levels of rot in the education system in the state.
Ilyasu said: “On many occasions, we have cried to the authorities on the need to improve standard of education in the state, but to no avail. Things started changing for better after the appointment of the new Commissioner for Education, who is a woman and ready to sanitise the system”.
“She (the commissioner) has expressed her displeasure about proliferation of private schools in the state and has said she’s ready to close any illegal and sub-standard ones.
“We believe that if this is done, it will go a long way to sanitising the system and this will help all the stakeholders in the education sector. This is because not all proprietors are qualified to establish schools and this is affecting the standard of education”, he stressed.
Ilyasu said the association was passionate about due process and standard, adding that members are always advised to put the necessary facilities in place among the steps to establish schools before seeking approval or recruiting staff and students for easy operations.
He, however, advised parents and guardians to always register their children and wards in standard schools, urging proprietors also to make standard their watchword rather than profit.
Establishment of schools, the association secretary said should not be for profit making, but social services to develop the education sector and proper molding of children as future leaders of the country.