Lagos state government said it would commence census of all private schools operating in the state effective from September 26, 2016 while all unregistered private schools in the state will be closed down.
Lagos State deputy governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule who disclosed this today at the 3rd quarterly stakeholders’ forum of private schools owners held at the Secretariat, Alausa Ikeja said the move was part of efforts to ensure that private schools operating in the state conform to the quality standard of education set by the state government and deliver quality service like their public counterparts.
The enumeration / census exercise she said 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.
Dr Adebule stated that the state government is determined to ensure that all school children in the state have access to quality education irrespective of whether they attend private or public schools , adding that part of the tools at the governments disposal to achieve this is to have accurate and precise data on schools and their mode of operation , which she said the school census intended to achieve.
The deputy governor 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 thought and ideals and work together as a team towards achieving the objective
Adebule while noting that the foundation of quality human capital development is the primary and secondary institutions , 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 , 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 guide lines set by the state government, warned that the state government will no longer allow private schools that are not duly registered and approved by the state Ministry of Education to operate in the state , nothing that all government attempt to capture all schools irrespective of their approval status was frustrated as most unregistered schools failed to take the advantage the easy procedure put in place by the state government.
She said ‘’ 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 become illegal henceforth in the state.’’
The deputy governor explained that the state government was taking steps to intensify the upgrade of public schools facilities through construction and rehabilitation of more class rooms, libraries and laboratories. She further disclosed that the State Executive Council recently approved the sum of 10 billion naira for capital projects in public schools to cover construction, renovation and rehabilitation to ensure conducive learning environment in public schools.
In his welcome address, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mr Adeshina Odeyemi stated that the forum aimed at evaluating educational progress of private schools 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 in the state.