Delta State To Shut Down Illegal Schools, Prosecute Offenders

It was a show of genuine intention and commitment o n the part of the legislature and the executive to resolve the lingering crisis amongst the government approved private schools, just as the conveyed in meeting was convened for proprietors of private school at the Delta State House of Assembly
Press Centre Asaba on Thursday December 14, 2017.
The meeting which started at mid-day had in attendance the three associations that currently make up Private schools in the State, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education with the Delta State house of Assembly Committee on Education presiding .
The meeting which started on a friendly note with introduction of everyone
present had three associations namely-Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) and Association of Proprietors of Government Approved Schools (APGAS) in the hall.
The issues that came to the fore were the fear of double taxation, duplication of duties, operation of schools without genuine licences and proliferation of illegal schools in the state .
The Commissioner of Basic and Secondary
Education Mr. Chiedu Ebie in his presentation argued that all these anomalies would be nipped in the bud as soon as a revalidation exercise is carried out.
He debunked the allegation that he was not carrying the leadership k of associations
along, reiterating the resolve of the Ministry not to dabble into the crisis that is be-devilling the associations
in the state.
Mr. Ebie said it was safer for the Ministry to deal with Proprietors of government approved private schools in the State individually, instead of dealing
with Association of Private school Owners of Nigeria (APSON) National Association of Proprietors of Private schools (NAPPS) or Association of Proprietors of Government Approved Schools (APGAS) in Delta State.
He expressed the optimism that the issue of proliferation of Illegal schools in Delta State will soon be a thing of the past.
The presiding officer who is the Chairman
of House Committee on Education Hon. Angela Nwaka after all the deliberations
in conjunction with all present from the different associations, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and members of the House Committee on Education resolved as follows:
That the regulation of operational guidelines for schools in Delta falls under the purview of the Ministry of Education, since the government is working tirelessly to standardize education
in the state in the interest of the state and the nation, all illegal schools in Delta State should be shut down to avoid a situation where some illegal private school proprietors short change the state does not toy with education of our children. That all proprietors of illegal private schools should be prosecuted and that the duplication of duties in an attempt to raise fund should be discontinued forthwith.
Hon. Angela Nwaka while mandating the Ministry to carry out a revalidation exercise, allayed the fears of double taxation,
noting that it is only the Ministry of Secondary and Basic Education that has the right to regulate the operations of public and Private Basic and Secondary education in Delta State.
Earlier the president of National Association
of Proprietors of Private Schools NAPPS, Delta State at the meeting was blamed by the Chairman and members of the Delta State House of assembly committee on education for encouraging illegal schools in the state.
The chairman and members of the committee that met in Asaba with the various private school’s associations in Delta state over the dwindling fortunes in standard of education were particularly not happy that NAPPS President, Ochuko Akpeme is running an association with some members who are allegedly illegal school owners.
The House of Assembly education committee chairperson, Honourable Angela Nwaka said she convened the meeting after receiving complaints from a group of proprietors from Oshimili North and South, blaming NAPPS for the proliferation of illegal schools and lowering of standards of education in the State.
Honourable Nwaka who had asked the State Secretary of NAPPS and proprietor of God’s Heritage Academy, Asaba, Mr Phrederick Okoka out of the meeting after hearing that he was running an illegal school later allowed him the hang around while children the President of NAPPS for allowing such anomaly.
Hear her “By allowing a proprietor of illegal school to be in your executive, what are you telling the public? By this action, are you not simply telling them that standard is not part of your objective! Look, we cannot stay here and watch the future of our children being toyed with by people who have no business in the education sector.”
All explanations by the NAPPS President, Ochuko Akpeme
who tried to justify having an illegal school owner in his Exco were rebuffed by the chairperson and members of the education committee. Instead, he was advised to show remorse for not using his position
to regulate his members and ensure that all of them comply with the standards set by the State’s Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
However while reacting the Delta State Commissioner
for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Chiedu Ebie highlighted what his ministry was doing to sanitize education in the state, though caused a stare when he mentioned to the shocking of the lawmakers
that some schools in the state are operating with fake licenses.
Mr Ebie who said he discovered this in the course of doing his job revealed that he will soon embark on revalidation exercise to fish out the fake license holders and the syndicate behind it. While explaining
to the lawmakers that the leadership crisis among private school owners has not helped matters
as well.
The Education boss lamented that three associations
of proprietors of private schools presently exist in the state, making it difficult for the ministry to work with the leadership of any of the associations to regulate their members and ensure standards.
But responding, the education committee chairperson
advised the commissioner to do all within his reach to fish out the schools operating with fake licenses and punish everyone involved adequately.
It is on record that a few weeks ago Oshimili South and North chapters of NAPPS boycotted a programme tagged ‘NAPPS week’ which was organized
by Delta State leadership of NAPPS, in protest against the leaderships’ open romance with illegal schools in the state. The two chapters had alleged.