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Bayelsa to shut down 250 substandard private schools

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The Bayelsa State Government is set to close down over 250 substandard private primary and secondary schools in the state.

Commissioner for Education, Jonathan Obuebite, disclosed this in a chat with journalists in Yenagoa, saying after its investigations, the ministry compiled the names of the schools that did not meet the requirements of private schools.

He decried the alarming rate of substandard private schools in the state, noting that more than half of the over 500 private schools, including those promoted by churches would be shut down soon.

He explained that the private schools were given a probation period to improve their standard, lamenting that up until now, they had yet to do anything but were busy collecting money from people.

The commissioner added that in no distant time, the names of the affected schools would be made public to enable Bayelsans to take precautionary measures.

Obuebite also said that most of the schools would be denied accreditation to write the junior and senior West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) examinations and other national examinations in the state.

He stated: “We are going to make the unqualified schools public to Bayelsa people. We will mention the names of the schools, their locations and their proprietors for the public to be guided appropriately.

“We have a problem of proliferation of private schools. Some of them operate in one-bedroomed apartments, while some operate in a single room. We have gone round, we have investigated and we have compiled the schools that are not qualified in the private sub-sector in the state.

“We don’t want our people to be victims because most of these schools will be denied accreditation for WAEC, junior WAEC or any national examination in this state.

“We have over 500 private schools in this state and you will be surprised that about half of them, which is more than 250, are going.”

He, however, said some of the schools would be encouraged to improve in terms of what they have and their locations, adding that the exercise would not be carried out in isolation.

Obuebite disclosed that he met with the school authorities and that for the first time all the private schools operators in the state were invited for a meeting at Izonwari in Yenagoa.

“I invited them and we discussed the issues and I informed them. We also invited their union to be part of the entire process,” he said.


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