The proprietor of All Saints Premier Academy, Aba, Abia State, Elder Idika Nwobasi has appealed to the State Government to use the long vacation to plan how to assist proprietors of private schools in the state to restructure. He made the appeal recently in Aba, while reacting to the handover of schools to the original owners.
According to him, if the state government was able to assist them, it would enable the schools to return to their former standards and provide quality education to the citizenry. He said for over forty years the handed over schools were managed by the government, structures handed back to owners needed to be rehabilitated and repositioned to meet present-day standards to impart academic and moral discipline in the students that have been brainwashed and misdirected on how to acquire paper qualifications without much study.
Nwobasi said the present situation leaves the owners and managers of the schools in precarious positions on how to source funds to reconstruct their dilapidated classrooms, laboratories, libraries and even recommence practical agricultural trainings. According to him, while the government was managing the schools, parts of the premises were stolen by those appointed to oversee the affairs of the institutions and they sold them to private developers that built residential and commercial houses on those land.
He said those occupying the buildings now have not been given quit notices by the authorities to move out to enable the original managers to make use of their land for the purpose those land were procured. The septuagenarian said the officials of the state ministry of education and their accomplices were complicating issues by not carrying out proper monitoring and supervision of operations of private schools as over 1,000 sub standard schools exist in the state . There are a lot of schools in the state with staff without basic teaching qualifications all over in Aba town, claiming to have received approval from the state ministry of education to run a school.
He asked ‘how can someone without certificate ascertain that he or she had passed through basic educational training to establish an institution that will train and develop youngsters in the society to become adults and future leaders of the people. According to him, such attitude called for questioning of workers in the inspectorate department of the ministry of education and those in the area and zonal inspectorate offices who hobnob to recommend approval from the government even without conducive learning and recreational environment for the children.
According to Nwobasi there is need for the government to come up with a programme to assist owners of private schools by releasing soft funds through grants for development of basic infrastructure, while money realized as fees would be used to repay such loans over agreed periods. He urged State governments in the country to join hands with the federal government to fight the renewed war against corruption in order to reposition the country’s economy towards growth and development for the greater benefit of the citizenry.
He urged various ties of government in the State to stop paying lip service to issues relating to the education of the youths especially now that it had absolved itself of the burden of providing day-to-day running of primary and post primary schools. According to him, what government needs to do at the moment was to find out ways of assisting those carrying out the responsibility to succeed for peace and development to reign.
-Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba