Illegal school proprietors are criminals – Anambra Commissioner
The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh has warned proprietors of schools in the state against operating unapproved schools, describing the act as criminal.
Udeh stated this while addressing the over 1000 proprietors at the maiden edition of the Anambra academic retreat for private school owners held at Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Agu- Awka.
She expressed displeasure at the number of unapproved schools in the state, insisting that it is criminal for one to indulge in such activity.
She charged the proprietors to establish schools that are condusive to learning, just as she enjoined them to read up on the rules and regulations guiding the establishment of schools as directed by the Federal Ministry of Education.
“Observe the rule of establishing a school and ensure your schools are condusive for human habitation. It is the children’s lives we are talking about.
“Ensure you met at least 75% of the requirements needed for establishing a school,” she said.
The commissioner assured that the state would work with approved schools with details captured and uploaded to the state’s biometrics portal.
“Schools that fail to beat the deadline set for the biometric capturing will be termed unapproved and would not benefit from State and Federal government palliatives,” she warned.
The Commissioner frowned at the issue of multiple taxations raised by the proprietors, adding that government-approved fees come with designated government accounts.
” You are not under compulsion to give gifts to officers who are in your schools for inspection, ensure you met the requirement needed for the school’s approval and your school would be approved,” she cautioned.
Udeh urged the participants to use government-approved textbooks in their schools as the administration is working towards creating a unified system, with the private and public schools working in tandem.
“In togetherness we will build a progressive homeland, lifting the educational sector to the next level,” she opined.
Earlier, Director of Schools, Mrs Chioma Unachukwu called on school proprietors to collaborate with the government for a better educational system.
She stated that the present administration has their interest at heart and wants to know their strengths, pains and drawbacks.
In his remarks, Chairman of Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria, Prof Uzochukwu Nwanonyu of Susu College, Nkpor expressed confidence in the ability of this administration to steer the sector to a high level.
He called on the Commissioner to use her office to put an end to the issues of multiple taxations, imposition of levies and dues, incessant inspection and illegal collection of dues plaguing the sector.
The academic retreat for private school owners is the first ever to be organised by the Ministry of Education.