Delta lawmakers to clamp down on unapproved private schools
Worried over the low quality of education in private schools, the Delta State House of Assembly has unveiled plans to clamp down on unapproved and unregistered private educational institutions in the state.
The Chairman, House Committee on Education, Mrs. Angela Nwaka who disclosed this during a public hearing on a bill to regulate the establishment of private schools in the state reiterated government’s commitment to ensure qualitative education system.
The hearing attracted stakeholders, including the state ministries of basic and secondary education, higher education as well as members of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools among others.
Nwaka stressed that aside the issue of qualitative teaching; needed infrastructure must be provided in schools, as extra curriculum activities were key to growing a child.
Some members of the committee in separate contributions said the proposed law would reposition the sector and improve standards.
They maintained that there must be rules and regulations as the indiscriminate establishment of private primary, secondary and tertiary institutions posed a serious challenge to standards.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. David Onokpe and his Higher Education counterpart, Dr. Raphael Agbaike applauded the house for the bill, saying it would help restore sanity to the establishment of private schools in the state.
They noted that the proposed law would ensure that due process and standards were followed in the establishment of private schools in the state.
Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Dr. Akpeme Ochuko and others commended the state legislature for the proposed law, adding that it would help to sanitise the system.
The stakeholders critically analysed the 20 sections of the bill where some of the clauses were amended.
According to the bill, no person shall run or operate a private educational institution in the state without approval granted by relevant ministries, while certificates of registration will be valid for one year and renewable subject to the conditions stipulated in the provisions of the law.
Other sections amendment included, registration of private educational institutions, re-registration of existing private institutions, offences and penalties, while stakeholders urged the committee to clearly spell out the definition of creche, day care and pre-nursery school as day care falls under the supervision of the ministry of women affairs.
They emphasised that as contained in the bill, every private school must have sports and play ground within its premises to encourage sporting activities while stakeholders appealed for 24 months window to enable schools comply with the law in terms of structures among others areas.