From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Plateau State government has deregistered all private schools in the state and urged all proprietors to obtain fresh operation licenses to checkmate the proliferation of illegal schools.
Commissioner of Education (Secondary) Mrs Elizabeth P Wapmuk disclosed this on Thursday while briefing Journalists in Jos and said the government is determined to provide quality education for the citizens.
She explained that the decision became necessary following the proliferation of illegal private schools in the state whose quality operation is sub-standard and questionable.
“This is to inform the general public that the operation license of all private Nursery/pre-primary, primary, Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary schools in Plateau State bare hereby deregistered with effect from 28 July 2022.
“The order means that all Private Nursery/Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Schools in the state will have to revalidate their certificate.”
Mrs Wapmuk notes that the quality assurance mandate requires all private schools to renew their operating license after five years but that has not been done by most schools for several years.
She explained that records available to the Ministry revealed that there are over 5000 private schools in the state who are operating without a license.
“85 per cent of the 485 private schools earlier granted license have compromised their standards. 90 per cent of the private schools do not adhere to government policies and mandates,” she stated.
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“Many of the private schools used Secondary School graduates to teach instead of the minimum Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCF) or Degree Certificates that should be duly registered with Teachers Registration Council Nigeria (TRCN).
Mrs Wapmuk alleged that most of the private schools concealed their premises to avoid routine inspection which has become hideouts for criminal elements in the state.
She said the Ministry has resolved that: “All private schools that initially have a license will submit to the Ministry of Education while new ones will be issued after certifying the reviewed Federal and Plateau State Quality Assurance Procedures for establishing Private Schools
“Revalidation Committee have been put in place to revalidate all Private Schools in the state. In this regard, all schools should proceed to their respective zonal offices of Education closest to them with all relevant documents to revalidate their schools with effect from Monday 8 August 2022.
She said only schools that certified the revalidation exercise will be allowed to resume in the next academic session for 2022/2023.
The commissioner said a list of schools that are cleared would be published in national dailies and urged parents in the state to take note and ensure that their children are not sent to uncertified schools.
“Schools that are not certified Rin the risk of being barred from participating in any Federal or State Examination, Basic Education Certificate Exams (BECE), Senior School Certificate Exams (WAEC/NECO/ NABTEB),” she stated.
She said the state government is determined to provide quality education in the state by encouraging schools that operate within the ambit of the law.