Lagos To Close Down Illegal Schools; Set To Carry Out Census Of Licenced Private Schools

In a determined effort to ensure that private schools operating in the state conform to the quality standard of education set by the present administration as well as deliver quality service like their public counterparts, Lagos State Government has disclosed that it would commence enumeration of all registered private schools operating in the State from September 26, 2016.

The State Deputy Governor, Dr.  Idiat Oluranti Adebule, who disclosed this on Monday, September 19, 2016 at the 3rd quarterly stakeholders’ forum of private schools owners held at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja,  emphasized the State government’s determination  to  ensure   that all school children have access to quality education irrespective of whether they attend  private or public schools, adding that part of the tools at government’s disposal to achieve this objective is maintaining accurate and precise data on schools and their mode of operations , which she said the census seeks to achieve.

In her words, “The enumeration exercise is aimed at providing the State government with accurate data and necessary information on private schools so as to set effective quality control mechanism in place and monitor compliance.”

Adebule, who sought the cooperation of all the stakeholders especially, proprietors of private schools to ensure the success of the exercise, noted that the task of making  Lagos education a role model of excellence required that all stakeholders must consolidate on their energies, integrate their thoughts and ideals and work together as a team towards achieving the objective.

While maintaining that the foundation of quality human capital development is the primary and secondary institutions,  she stated that all  the relevant stakeholders in the education sector must be ready to follow the rules of engagement which she listed to  include; ensuring that only qualified professionals with requisite training are recruited, providing good infrastructure for learning  such as libraries, science laboratories  as well as encouraging co- curricular activities such as debates, literary activities , science and sport competitions, voluntary societies or clubs so as to produce well rounded students that would help to drive the nation’s economy in the future.

The Deputy Governor who announced that a total of 119 prospective school  owners that applied for registration  have been granted   provisional approval having met the guidelines set by the state government,  warned that schools not registered or approved by the state Ministry of Education will not operate, noting that some schools failed to take the advantage the easy registration procedure put in place by the state government.

According to her, “Government is not comfortable with our discovery that over 15,000 private schools are operating in the state and only just 4,556 are approved and registered; Let me state it clearly, henceforth, Lagos State Government will no longer allow private schools that are not duly registered by the Lagos State Ministry of Education to operate in the State, their operation becomes illegal henceforth in the State.”

She explained that the State government is taking steps to intensify the upgrade of public school facilities through construction and rehabilitation of more classrooms, libraries and laboratories and further disclosed that the State Executive Council recently approved the sum of N10 billion for capital projects in public schools to cover construction, renovation and rehabilitation to ensure conducive learning environment in public schools.

Earlier in his welcome address, thePermanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mr. Adeshina Odeyemi stated that the forum is aimed at evaluating educational progress of private school students in the State and how to bring about positive development.

He urged private school owners to cooperate with the State government in the implementation of quality educational policies and programmes that would help to raise the standard of education.